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Final accuser recounts rapes in Sandusky trial

| Thursday, June 14, 2012, 8:44 p.m.

BELLEFONTE -- The eighth and final accuser on Thursday provided some of the most violent accusations jurors have heard in Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial.

The man known in court documents as "Victim 9" told jurors that the former Penn State football defensive coach raped him repeatedly when he was 13 or 14. Now 18, he said it happened every time in the basement of the Sandusky home, just outside the borough of State College.

At least once, the man testified, he believed Sandusky's wife, Dottie, was upstairs but likely didn't hear what happened.

"He got real aggressive and just forced me into it," the man said. The Tribune-Review does not identify accusers in sex assault cases.

"I just went with it. There was no fighting against it."

After four days of testimony from 18 witnesses -- eight accusers and others who described attacks on two more victims -- Judge John M. Cleland recessed proceedings until Monday morning. State prosecutors are nearing the end of their presentation but did not rest their case against Sandusky, 68, who is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year span, many times in Penn State athletic facilities. He has maintained his innocence.

Victim 9 told jurors that Sandusky's assaults escalated during a two-year period when the teenager said he often stayed at the coach's house. As with other accusers, he said he met Sandusky through the Second Mile, the charity the coach established in State College in 1977 to help disadvantaged kids.

Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan led the accuser through the testimony, allowing him to regain his composure in brief moments when he broke down. His memories, sometimes expressed with short, somewhat muffled responses, turned especially graphic when defense attorney Joseph Amendola cross-examined him.

Amendola asked if the man needed medical attention after the alleged rapes. The man said he did not seek treatment but did bleed.

"I just dealt with it," he said, turning to look squarely at Amendola. "I have a different way of coping with things."

A state investigator, a former university police detective and two other accusers also testified yesterday. The man listed as "Victim 6," now 25, said Sandusky stripped naked with him in a campus locker room in 1998 and put him in a bear hug.

Sandusky called himself a "tickle monster" and helped wash the boy that day, he testified. The incident, reported immediately by the boy's mother to local police, marks the only apparent record of a sexual misconduct allegation against Sandusky until the state filed charges in November.

The man said he remembers having been lifted to a shower head, but "that's the last thing I remember about being in the shower.

"It's just kind of black," he said.

His mother, in consultation with the Centre County District Attorney's Office, summoned Sandusky twice to her home for conversations. Sandusky once told her: "I wish I could ask for forgiveness. I know I will not get it from you. I wish I were dead," former campus investigator Ron Schreffler testified.

He said the state Department of Welfare and county Children and Youth Services handled the matter at various points. The district attorney at the time, Ray Gricar, has since gone missing and is presumed dead.

Schreffler said he approached Sandusky at the time. His best recollection is that Sandusky agreed "he would not do it again," Schreffler said.

Amendola, in cross-examination, showed "Victim 6" sustained a friendship with Sandusky for years after the 1998 shower incident. The man did not deny that but said that as he got older he came to view the shower incident differently.

"As I started to think about it, as I started to go over it in my mind, I quickly realized my perception changed; thinking about it as an adult as opposed to an 11-year-old," he said.

Another accuser, "Victim 3," now 25, testified yesterday that Sandusky embraced and fondled him in Penn State showers and on a waterbed in the retired coach's basement more than 50 times from 1999 to 2001. Victim 3 is an Iraq war veteran.

"He made me feel like I was part of something, part of a family, giving me things that I didn't have before. I loved him," the slender blond man said.

He said the abuse ended in middle school when he was placed in foster care and Sandusky abandoned interest in him.

Locating the accusers was a big challenge for state investigators, said Anthony Sassano, who has helped lead the case for the state Attorney General's Office.

"It was a daunting task to try to get other victims to come forward" after an initial accuser stepped forward in 2008, Sassano testified. He said they were not eager "to admit being sexually abused by a man."

Investigators found at least 18 boxes of Sandusky's abandoned office materials -- kept in a storage room at Penn State -- that included photographs, affectionate letters and other materials that have assisted the investigation. Sassano discussed Second Mile participant rosters, culled from Sandusky's files, that feature hand-written asterisks beside the names of alleged victims.

Defense presentations in the case are expected to begin early next week.

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