BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY—Day one of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial concluded with strong testimony from one of the alleged victims. The day started with opening arguments, before victim four testified about his experiences with Jerry Sandusky.
Victim four testified for about three and one half hours, outlining a five-year period where he was abused by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. The abuses started with light touching and eventually ended with oral sex. It's the profile of the man prosecutors describe as a serial pedophile.
Jerry Sandusky made his way into the Centre County Courthouse for day one of his sex abuse trial. The day began with opening arguments, before the prosecution presented one of the victims, alleged victim number four.
"This morning the prosecution opened the door to justice and what we saw was not pretty," said Jeff Dion from the Center for Victims of Crime.
Victim four, now 28-years-old, described his five-year-relationship with the 68-year-old Sandusky. Number four testified the abuses beginning in 1996 when he was just 12-years-old. In just weeks, the relationship turned physical. The victim said Sandusky and him traded oral sex upwards of 40 times, mostly in the locker rooms on the Penn State University campus. It's a pattern some of the victim's attorneys say is regular in this case.
"It's daunting that you have the accusations not of one accuser, not of two, or four but eight, all willing to testify by putting their hand on the bible," said Tom Kline, attorney for Victim 5.
Victim four produced letters from the embattled former Penn State defensive coordinator. One of the half dozen letters to Victim four read, "I know that I made my share of mistakes, however I hope that I will be able to say I cared. There has been love in my heart."
Defense attorney Joe Amendola presented his side in opening statements. Amendola said there are many inconsistencies in the victim's stories. Sandusky's defense team says money and bad home lives are driving the alleged victims to come forward.
Amendola told the jury, "The testimony you are going to hear is going to be awful, but that doesn't make it true."
One of the most poignant parts of the day besides victim four's testimony came during opening arguments. The prosecution posted each victim's picture side-by-side up on a big screen. Those pictures all showed young boys, all alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky.
Victim four testified for over three and a half hours. The day ended with testimony from a former Second Mile employee who talked about contracts between Sandusky and some of the kids. During day two, Victim one is expected to testify. That young man was the person that sparked the investigation back in 2008.
The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Testimony began this afternoon in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial. The first witness, referred to as Victim #4, now a 28 year-old man, spent over 90 mnutes on the stand describing five years of alleged abuse he sustained from Sandusky.
Victim alleges he was 12 when Sandusky first courted him at a Second Mile camp. At different times throughout their time together, Victim #4 says Sandusky forced him into oral sex as well as three instances where he tried to penetrate him in the showers on the Penn State campus. Prosecution presented a "love letter" from Sandusky to Victim #4 saying, quote, " I know I made my share of mistakes, however I hope that I will be able to say I cared. There has been love in my heart." Court is currently in short recess. Testimony of Victim #4 will resume at 2:30pm.
Both sides have wrapped up opening arguments in the child sex abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky. The prosecution spent about 50 minutes talking to the jury, laying out their case, while the defense spent 40 minutes with jurors to keep an open mind.
The defense followed the prosecution's 50 minute opening statement by trying to begin to raise doubt in the juror's minds. Defense attorney Joe Amendola talked repeatedly about the inaccuracies of the victim's stories, telling the jury that the evidence will show that 7 out of the ten alleged victims have attorneys representing them in civil matters connected to this case. Amendola says these young men have financial interests in this case besides being involved with troublesome home lives. He said the evidence will not add up.
"The testimony you are going to hear is going to be awful, but that doesn't make it true," said Amendola in court.
Amendola also claimed in court that the government "nagged" the alleged victims enough that they gave in to the charges against Sandusky. Amendola also referenced late Penn State coach Joe Paterno eluding to how exactly a group of men could have missed all of the evidence leading up to his arrest.