Today was the first day of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial and it was riveting and heartwrenching. A 28-year-old man identified as Victim Four took the stand and detailed years of sexual abuse by Sandusky, starting when he was only 13. According to the man, the former Penn State assistant football coach used physical and emotional force, as well as luxurious gifts, to threaten, cajole, and force his victims into sexual acts. He also detailed how one time Sandusky's wife, Dottie, walked in on them.
Victim Four testified that Sandusky abused him three or four times a week for three years, and that he often hid to avoid him. He said:
I'd come home from school and look out the window and he'd be there and I'd grab the phone and hide in the closet.
He also describes how one time he traveled with Sandusky and his wife on an away game and stayed with them at a hotel. In the bathroom, Sandusky pushed the boy down, trying to force him to perform oral sex. At that moment, the door almost opened and Sandusky's wife asked what was going on. Sandusky ran out.
Victim Four says that Sandusky would threaten to send him back to the small town where he came from and deny him access to getting on the Penn State football team if he didn't do what Sandusky wanted. And, sadly, the man also testified about not having a father around, and how that influenced his reactions to Sandusky -- that he felt the coach was a "father figure" to him and didn't want to lose his attention or the privileges that came with knowing him, even when it meant being sexually abused. Says the prosecutor: "[He] just wanted a father figure, but the defendant would spoon with him, put his hand down his pants, touch his genitals."
The defense claims that the men, most of whom have civil suits pending against Sandusky, are merely trying to profit from these stories.
This is one trial that is shaping up to be horrible and heartbreaking.
What do you think of the testimony so far?