Painful testimony in the Jerry Sandusky trial
The Kansas City Star
Accounts of the Jerry Sandusky trial in Pennsylvania sound absolutely painful, with defense lawyers of the ex-football coach reduced to attempts to trip up the young men who claim to be Sandusky’s victims.
From the New York Times:
(Defense attorney Joseph) Amendola asked repeatedly why the young man failed to tell child service workers and the police early in the investigation that Sandusky had performed oral sex on him, and why he later gave investigators a variety of numbers for how often it happened. The man said he was uncomfortable retelling the events to strangers.
Occasionally breaking into tears, the man told prosecutors that after Sandusky started abusing him, his performance in school slipped, and he started wetting his bed and getting into fights. When he tried to distance himself from the coach, Sandusky harassed him and his family, he said.
The young man testifying is all of 18 years old. According to his account, Sandusky first befriended him and then sexually abused him when he was in grade school. I think it’s pretty understandable that he was uncomfortable describing what happened to him.
Mike McQueary, the assistant coach who claims to have witnessed Sandusky assaulting a child in the showers of the Penn State locker room, testified that he banged his locker door to interrupt the encounter, and then made eye contact with Sandusky, who was by that time standing apart from the boy.
McQueary testified that he told Penn State football coach Joe Paterno about the incident, and also talked to the university’s athletic director and the administrator who oversaw the campus police department.
I find McQueary’s contention that he thought he was going to the police when he talked to the supervising administrator to be believable. The response of the officials — telling Sandusky he couldn’t take children into Penn State athletic facilities — was wholly and perhaps criminally inadequate.
McQueary isn’t a defendant in the case. From his testimony, it seems he did nothing wrong. He just didn’t do enough. I’m sure he wishes now he would have rushed into the shower, wrapped a towel around the kid and gotten him to a safe place. But I’m not sure how many of us can say with certainty how we would have reacted when confronted with such a shocking situation.