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Accusers testify that Jerry Sandusky threatened and groped them, exposed himself
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) ' Three accusers testified Wednesday that Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted them, often offering up football tickets, gifts and attention in a bid to win their trust. One said he was told he'd never see his family again if he said anything.
The accusers spoke with conviction to jurors at the former Penn State assistant football coach's sex abuse trial, yet they also grappled with trying emotional circumstances as they recalled events that took place years earlier.
One man, now 25, said Sandusky pinned him down and performed oral sex on him, threatened to keep him from seeing his family if he reported what happened and then later told him he loved him.
The man, called Victim 10 by prosecutors, told jurors Sandusky assaulted him in the basement of the ex-coach's State College home in the late 1990s. The witness was in foster care at the time and occasionally stayed over at the Sandusky home.
"He told me that if I ever told anyone that I'd never see my family again," the accuser testified.
Later, Sandusky offered a more conciliatory tone.
"He apologized for saying that," the witness said. "He told me he didn't mean it and that he loved me."
The man said Sandusky also assaulted him on other occasions in 1998 and 1999, including once at a pool and another time in the same basement that involved mutual oral sex. He said he was about 11 years old at time of the alleged assaults.
Sandusky is on trial on 52 criminal counts involving alleged assaults against 10 boys over a 15-year span.
Under cross-examination, the man testified that he was the roommate of another Sandusky accuser at a camp sponsored by Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile.
The alleged victim also acknowledged having spent nearly two years in state prison for a robbery and involvement with drugs and alcohol, but said he was doing better now.
"I'm married. I'm expecting" a child, he said.
Another man, identified in court papers as Victim 10, said he met Sandusky at Second Mile Camp in 1999 and began attending Penn State games with Sandusky and others. In 2001, he said Sandusky asked him to work out at a gym on the campus. That resulted in a sauna and a shower where he said he was groped.
"I've heard of what a sauna was but I really didn't know what the point of it was. I just knew it was hot," the 23-year-old man testified. "We got undressed and we had just towels on."
He said Sandusky exposed himself by parting the towel. They then went into a shower, he said.
"He threw some soap at me and started lathering my shoulders," he said, his voice breaking. "I felt his body on my back... I felt his penis on my back."
Then he felt Sandusky's hands on his genitalia and "then he took my hand and placed it on his" penis.
Afterward he said Sandusky drove him home and made "no eye contact" with him. They had no contact since.
The allegations differed from the grand jury report issued in November, which said the alleged abuse took place between 1996 and 2002.
Another man, identified by prosecutors as Victim 7, told jurors that Sandusky showered with him repeatedly and embraced him during sleepovers after he met the then-coach through his charity in 1995, when the witness was 10 years old.
Sandusky was "wrapping himself around me, holding me tightly" when he slept over at his house, the 27-year-old man said.
That contact with a sometimes-shirtless Sandusky has given the man an aversion to chest hair, said the accuser, who also described Sandusky touching him beneath his shorts and pants.
The man recalled attending Penn State games with Sandusky's family and receiving free tickets from Sandusky as recently as 2009.
"I wanted to go to games, I tried to block that stuff out and focus on the positives," he said.
The man said he only told his parents of the abuse last year, after being approached by police.
"The more negative thing I sort of put in the back part of my mind ' closing a door, putting stuff in the attic is what I feel I did," he said.
Earlier Wednesday, the father of former assistant coach Mike McQueary told the jury details of a phone call he had with his son after the former Penn State quarterback allegedly saw Sandusky abusing a young boy in a locker room shower.
John McQueary told the court he approached former university vice president Gary Schultz about the allegations to follow-up on his son's report to the university. The elder McQueary said Schultz told him he'd heard "noises" previously about Sandusky misconduct.
Schultz and the school's former athletic director each faces charges of failure to report suspected child abuse and perjury related to their grand jury testimony about Sandusky. Both maintain their innocence.
John McQueary's testimony ended with an unusual exchange with one of Sandusky's attorneys. McQueary apparently couldn't recall testifying at the preliminary hearing for Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, even after the attorney showed McQueary a transcript from the hearing.
Sandusky, 68, has denied the allegations. Authorities say he abused the boys in hotels, at his home and inside the football team's headquarters.
Sandusky's attorneys have suggested his accusers have financial motivations for coming forward.