The first victim in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual molestation trial was gasping for breath as he detailed repeated acts of oral sex with the disgraced former Penn State University football team's defensive coordinator today.
Now 18, the witness sat with his hands clasped in his lap, leaned into a microphone and painfully shared disturbing memories of being an 11-year-old boy, alone with Jerry Sandusky on the waterbed in Sandusky's basement.
This story only gets more graphic from here, so be advised.
Tears flowed throughout the Centre County Courtroom as jurors looked on, a couple noticeably disturbed. A few grimaced and shook their heads.
Sandusky sat hunched over, often rubbing his chin. The 68-year-old is facing 52 counts based on using his charity and his stature within the Penn State football program to manipulate and sexually molest 10 children over a 15-year period.
He's maintained his innocence on all charges.
The witness was 10 when he first entered Sandusky's Second Mile charity, which worked with at-risk youth in Central Pennsylvania.
He never knew his dad and lived with his single mother in public housing. After a few years in the Second Mile program, he began spending time alone with Sandusky.
Tuesday morning in court, he told of the sexual abuse, including in 2005 when Sandusky's repeated petting and cuddling went to another level.After a day of fun activities, they retired to the basement full of games, air hockey tables and TV, eventually laying together on a waterbed.
"After, rubbing and cracking my back and rubbing his hands down the back of my shorts and then blowing on the stomach," the witness said.
The witness then breathed heavily. He followed with a deep sniff of his noise, then hung his head and openly wept. "He … He put … "
There was a prolonged sigh. An attempt at a breath. A loud cry.
"He put his mouth on my privates," the witness said through a broken voice, seemingly just trying to spit it out the painful visions.
"I spaced. I didn't know what to do with all the thoughts running through my head. I just blacked out. I didn't want it to happen. I was froze."
The acts of oral sex continued for months, he testified, saying he was too embarrassed and confused to tell anyone what happened.
He also feared no one would believe him. Time after time he found himself back in Sandusky's basement, where he often stayed 2-3 nights a week.
"It was always the same routine," the witness said.
"Cracking my back, rubbing my back, putting his hands down my shorts, after that, it was always after he blew on my stomach that it happened. He would always blow on my stomach; as soon as he blew on my stomach that's when it would happen."
It was always Sandusky performing the act, the witness said, until one night.
"It was pretty much like any normal time with Jerry," the witness said before breaking down and crying harder and harder. "This time he sat there," the witness said, voice breaking. "He looked at me and said something along the lines … "
"… 'It's your turn.' He made me … "
The witness cried intensely, putting his face into his hands as the courtroom watched. "… He made me put my mouth on his privates."
On cross examination, defense attorney Joe Amendola focused on the witness's changing and evolving telling of the story to officials, including inconsistencies with dates, acts and the number of sexual encounters.
Many of the witness's previous retellings of the story – to a parade of guidance counselors, social workers, police and across three sessions in front of two different grand juries – don't mesh in the precise details.
For example, one time the witness said Sandusky didn't touch his private area, five months later he said that Jerry Sandusky in fact did.
"Whatever came first, I told the least amount to make it as easy on myself … I don't remember what I testified," the witness said later.
"All I know is it happened … I may have white lied to cover embarrassment when I told some people. But I am here now telling the truth to the fullest."
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