Posted: Jun 14, 2012 10:33 AM by CNN
A police officer who investigated after a woman reported then-Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky had showered with her son in 1998 testified Thursday in Sandusky's trial he felt charges should have been filed against him at the time.
Ronald Schreffler, a former Penn State police investigator who now works for the Department of Homeland Security, said he was among officers hiding in the woman's home when she confronted Sandusky about the situation. He testified he heard Sandusky tell her: "I wish I could ask forgiveness. I know I can't get it from you. I wish I were dead."
The alleged victim also testified about the 1998 incident Thursday, telling jurors he recalled feeling uncomfortable while showering with Sandusky as an 11-year-old -- but cannot remember anything, even the trip home, after Sandusky lifted him up to the shower head to get the shampoo out of his hair.
Sandusky, longtime defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, faces 52 counts tied to what prosecutors say was his systemic abuse of at least 10 boys over a span of 15 years. Now 68, Sandusky has been under house arrest in the days leading up to his trial. He has pleaded not guilty and has maintained his contact with children was not sexual.
The now-25-year-old man, identified as Alleged Victim 6, is the latest in a string of accusers to testify against Sandusky. Some have shared graphic recollections of abuse.
He said he was contacted by authorities in January 2011 after allegations against Sandusky resurfaced.
"I told him I would cooperate," he testified. "As I started to go over it in my mind, my perceptions changed, thinking about it as an adult, rather than an 11-year-old, that that was inappropriate, what had happened to me."
He said he met Sandusky through the charity founded by the former coach, Second Mile, and was invited to work out with the older man at a Penn State facility. He recalled feeling "a little bit odd" when Sandusky put his hand "right next to my knee, on the top part" in the car, and pulled his leg away, but "I believe it remained on there so I just kind of rolled with it."
Before the workout, he said the two "wrestled a little bit on the carpet. ... I felt uncomfortable with it, but it was Jerry Sandusky, and I didn't want to make him mad."
After they used the equipment for about 15 or 20 minutes, Sandusky told him it was time to shower, he said, and he "started to really get uncomfortable" when removing his clothes -- "no one but my parents has ever seen me like that."
He said when both were naked, he started a shower across the room from Sandusky. "I didn't want to be right next to him in the shower. I felt really awkward with that situation." But, he said, Sandusky told him to come over next to him, then began tickling him.
"I believe at one point he grabbed me from behind and gave me a big bear hug. ... He said, 'I'm going to squeeze your guts out.' I remember seeing his chest hair right in my face, and thinking, 'This is icky,' Alleged Victim 6 said.
He remembered Sandusky helped wash him and told him 'Let me help you with your back, where you can't reach.' ... It was just escalating, the uncomfortableness of it."
He said he has no memory of anything after Sandusky lifted him up to rinse shampoo. "It's just kind of black," he said.
When he got home, he said he told his mother: " 'By the way, if you see my hair is wet, it's because we took a shower," adding "She knew who I took a shower with," he said. "I told her bits and pieces, but not about everything that happened."
His mother, he testified, called police. CNN generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
Schreffler testified he interviewed the boy and, after consulting with the district attorney's office, asked the mother to invite Sandusky to her home twice with authorities hiding in another room. During the second meeting, he heard Sandusky make the statement about forgiveness, he said.
Schreffler said he talked with Sandusky himself as well. The then-coach acknowledged showering with other boys but said nothing sexual had taken place, he said. Sandusky "stated that he did think it was maybe inappropriate," Schreffler said. "He wouldn't do it again. ... He used the term 'bad judgment.' "
Asked if any charges were filed, Schreffler said, "No. I felt there should be some charges, something, but the D.A. didn't go for that."
Under cross-examination, the man acknowledged he maintained contact with Sandusky afterward, attending football games with him, meeting him and his wife for lunch and at one point borrowing his car. The two never again showered together, however, he said.
Alleged Victim 6 also said he had hired a civil attorney, but said he had not paid the attorney anything. "I signed something to let him represent me."
Under questioning from defense attorney Joe Amendola, Schreffler looked at a transcript of his May 1998 interview with Alleged Victim 6 and testified the boy insisted Sandusky never touched him in an inappropriate place or asked the boy to touch his "private parts."
"Even if he had asked, I wouldn't have done it anyways," the boy said in the transcript.
The trial, initially expected to last about three weeks, is moving along faster than anticipated, Judge John Cleland said Wednesday, and the prosecution could rest by Friday.
Jurors on Wednesday heard graphic testimony from three alleged victims, the father of a then-graduate assistant who said he witnessed Sandusky raping a boy, and a janitor who testified that he saw two pairs of legs in a shower, believed to be the ex-coach and a child.
"I knew there was something wrong," John McQueary said, describing a phone conversation with his son Mike, then a graduate assistant, after the alleged incident.
"I said, 'What's the matter?' " McQueary recalled. His son, Mike, then told him: 'Coach Sandusky (was) in the shower with a young boy,' " he testified.
The former coach "was positioned behind the young man, and I believe he said up against the shower wall," the elder McQueary said. "He said, 'It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on.' "
A day before, Mike McQueary testified that he saw what appeared to be Sandusky having anal sex with the boy.
He said he had informed university officials, though didn't use the words "anal sex" because he "didn't feel comfortable."
The elder McQueary also testified Wednesday that he met with Gary Schultz, the former Penn State vice president who oversaw campus police, to follow up on what his son had told authorities.
Prosecutors said Schultz held a secret file that detailed alleged incidents pertinent to the Sandusky investigation, which was initially not made available to the grand jury investigation.
Schultz and Tim Curley, Penn State's former athletic director, have pleaded not guilty to charges of perjury and failing to report an alleged sexual assault of a child.
The file allegedly shows inconsistencies with what Schultz and Curley told a grand jury, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.
They say e-mails from Schultz, Curley and others further contradict their testimony, though CNN cannot independently confirm that account.
The university responded Tuesday, saying that it had received "several subpoenas and gathered documents from many sources across the institution."
In opening statements, defense lawyer Amendola suggested his client would take the stand and say he routinely "got showers with kids" after working out.
The case has raised questions about Penn State's response to allegations, with some claiming the school put its reputation ahead of protecting potential child victims.