9News Now & wusa9.com
Written by: Bruce Leshan
Dec 12, 2011
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WUSA) — For the first time Tuesday, the young men who are accusing former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky of abusing them will confront him in a court of law.
At a preliminary hearing here near State College the alleged victims will take the stand to testify against the former heir apparent to the Penn State football legacy.
The attorney for Victim One says his client is nervous, but ready. He’s also furious, feeling that Jerry Sandusky has robbed him of his innocence and his childhood.
Camera crews are parked in front of the home where Sandusky allegedly abused many of the boys during sleepovers in the basement. Sandusky remains inside under house arrest, preparing for his hearing at the Centre County Courthouse.
Slade McLauglin represents Victim #1, who will be among at least five alleged victim’s to testify. “He’s ready, obviously nerve-wracking for a teenager who has to get up in front of 100s of people and talk about an issue that’s not pleasant to talk about.”
Sandusky allegedly performed oral sex on the boy at least 20 times when the child was 11 or 12 years old, and at least one time had the boy perform oral sex on him. “Jerry Sandusky robbed this young man of his innocence and his youth. He’s extremely upset about it as is his mother,” says Slade McLaughlin.
Sandusky insists he’s innocent. His lawyer will do his best to raise questions about the alleged victims’ credibility.
“A lot of people will find it’s inappropriate,” says defense attorney Joe Amendola. “But it’s not criminal to get in a shower, the way Jerry described it, the kids were like his own kids, and he treated them like his own kids. And Jerry didn’t think he was doing anything wrong to shower with them.”
Sandusky’s lawyer may question Mike McQueary especially sharply. The assistant coach told a grand jury he saw and heard Sandusky raping a young boy in a locker room shower.
But in 2002, McQueary may have told a family friend that all he saw was a young boy’s arm pulled back… and then Sandusky walking out in a towel.
“I can’t imagine him having any reason to make up what he saw,” says attorney Slade McLaughlin about McQueary.
Despite ten different boys now coming forward, Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer said today he has not engaged in any discussion with the prosecutor about a plea bargain.
Fired head football coach Joe Paterno is not likely to attend the hearing. He fell this weekend and broke his pelvis. He’s in the hospital, where doctors are treating him for that, and for lung cancer diagnosed days after the Penn State trustees fired him in the Sandusky scandal.