Jerry Sandusky victim speaks out for the first time

August 20, 2013 8:42:50 PM PDT
In an Action News exclusive, one of Jerry Sandusky's victims is breaking his silence for the first time.

Victim Number 10 settled his case with Penn State Tuesday, and sat down in a raw, candid interview with me to speak about years of abuse he suffered at the hands of the football icon.

He is one of 26 victims settling with the university, and only the second victim from the criminal trial to speak publicly, giving us the exclusive inside story about being targeted and molested, as well as his final words for Jerry Sandusky.

"Jerry Sandusky took an instant liking to me," he said. "He took me to my first football game. I got to meet a lot of the players at the time. I felt like I had another family that cared for me."

The relationship between Jerry Sandusky and Victim Number 10 started in 1997. The then-11-year-old, who came from a broken home, was referred to The Second Mile, Sandusky's charity, where a grand jury said he found his victims.

"He was very careful with what he did," said the victim. "He plotted it out."

Within a couple of months of meeting the football superstar, Victim Number 10 says the man he thought of as a father figure, who had showered him with gifts, clothing and money, started molesting him.

"It didn't take long," he said. "I was very vulnerable at the time. I grasped hold with both hands. It was something I didn't want it to let slip away."

I asked him where the abuse took place.

"It occurred several places," he said. "It occurred on the Penn State campus, it occurred in Jerry's home, in public, anywhere. That he felt he was safe to do that was where he took advantage of me."

The victim says Sandusky sexually abused and molested him dozens of times over next three years, until he decided to break free from Sandusky's stronghold.

"He wanted me to perform sexual acts on him, and I refused to do it," said the victim. "And he turned into a totally different person. He got very angry. That's when he threatened me. And then he turned around like nothing ever happened and said, 'I'm sorry I said that. I love you.'"

According to Victim Number 10, Sandusky threatened him by saying he would never see his family again if he told anyone what had happened.

I asked the victim why he didn't report the abuse.

"I was afraid, terrified," he said. "How could you stand up to somebody that was supposed to be an icon in the community, especially when you are a child?"

"Jerry took advantage of that in a very confusing time for him and manipulated him into doing unspeakable acts," said the victim's attorney, Joe Feller. "In three years, this man suffered horrific abuse."

Feller represents a total of 7 of Sandusky's victims.

"These young men are living not only with the fact that they were abused horrifically over a significant period of time by a monster, but they lived with the fact that people with authority at Penn State failed to act, failed to protect them when they needed it the most," said Feller.

Victim Number 10 testified against Sandusky at his criminal trial. The man he once idolized was convicted of 45 criminal counts of sexual abuse, including those against Victim 10.

"His sentence, to me, is part of the closure," said the victim. "I can sit back and know that he will never be able to do this to another person."

In the years following the abuse, Victim 10 says he turned away from his family and turned to drugs. The quiet 26-year-old, who spent 13 years in silence, is now pulling the pieces of his life together.

The silence now is for Sandusky.

"Are there things you would say to him now?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "I would have nothing to say to say to his face. He knew what he did. He knows what he did was wrong. So why did I have to sit there and tell him that when he knows it was wrong?"

Action News reached out to Penn State for a comment, and they sent us the following statement:

"The University continues to make progress on multiple settlements but does not have a comment at this time."

Penn State has set aside $60 million dollars to settle cases with 25 of the 31 young men who say Sandusky abused them. The amounts of each of those payouts is being kept confidential.

Jerry Sandusky has maintained his innocence, and is appealing his criminal conviction.

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