Accuser: Sandusky called himself ‘tickle monster’
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (AP) – Two more accusers took the stand at Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial Thursday, one saying the former Penn State assistant football coach called himself the “tickle monster” before embracing him in a shower. The judge said prosecutors might finish presenting their case Thursday.
The second man, now 25, said he loved Sandusky and saw him as a father figure, but he became angry with the former coach for never reaching out after he was sent away to live in a group home.
“He just forgot about me, like I was nothing,” said the man known in court documents as Victim 3.
Seven accusers have taken the stand over the trial’s first four days. Jurors also heard about two other alleged victims who have not been located by investigators.
Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts involving alleged assaults of 10 boys over a 15-year span. He denies the charges, which brought disgrace to one of the most storied sports programs in the U.S. and led to the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
Prosecutors have accused Sandusky of using his fame to hold sway over boys and grooming potential victims through the charity he founded for at-risk youth.
The defense has claimed that the accusers have financial motives, but they’ve denied it.
One of the men who testified Thursday described frequent sleepovers at Sandusky’s home in 1998 and 1999 that included the former coach rubbing his body and touching his penis. He said Sandusky gave him a bear hug in the shower.
The man said he felt uncomfortable when Sandusky touched his genitals in bed, and that he would roll over to prevent anything else from happening.
“He made me feel like I was a part of something, like a family,” the man said.
The other accuser testified that Sandusky called himself the “tickle monster” and embraced him when he was 11 in a Penn State shower in 1998. The encounter prompted an investigation but ultimately ended without any charges being filed.
The district attorney’s decision not to bring charges at the time was a mistake, an investigator who interviewed the boy and Sandusky at the time, Ronald Schreffler, told the court.
Schreffler said he thought charges were warranted but that the district attorney, Ray Gricar, disagreed.
Gricar disappeared in 2005 and was later declared legally dead.
Schreffler also said he overheard Sandusky tell the alleged victim’s mother that he wished he was dead. Investigators had listened in on a conversation set up for the woman to confront him.
GENARO C. ARMAS andMARK SCOLFORO
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