In this courtroom sketch, Jerry Sandusky, far right, listens to the verdict… (Aggie Kenny / Associated…)
The young man whose comments sparked the investigation that ultimately led to Jerry Sandusky’s conviction on child sexual abuse charges possesses an amazing inner strength that moved him to speak up about the abuse and to endure the ordeal of testifying about it court, his attorney said.
Michael Boni, the attorney representing the young man, said his slight appearance belied a resolute character. There is “something so powerful and strong in him,” Boni said in a televised interview.
That inner strength allowed the young man to testify against his abuser, Boni said, and “is frankly the reason we are all gathered around televisions, perhaps around the world, tonight.”
Boni spoke late Friday night from Bellefonte, Pa., not long after a jury convicted the former Penn State assistant football coach of 45 sexual abuse counts. Six of those charges were in connection with Boni’s client, identified by the court as Victim 1.
“He’s feeling elated,” Boni said in an interivew on CNN.
The young man graduated from high school a few weeks ago and was working the night shift as jurors came back with their verdict, Boni said. The attorney spoke by phone to the young man and his mother.
“They feel very, very empowered,” he said.
In gripping testimony on the second day of the trial, Victim 1 had described how Sandusky had forced oral sex on him when he was 11 or 12 and later demanded that he reciprocate. From the witness stand he spoke haltingly, often sobbing as he described his encounters with Sandusky, whom he first met at a summer camp for disadvantaged children.
The Morning Call, which covered the trial extensively, reported that Victim 1 testified that he never knew his father and that his mother thought Sandusky would be good male role model.
He testified about spending nights at Sandusky’s home, according to the newspaper. “At first, he would kiss me on the forehead good night, and then it came to him kissing me on the cheek and rubbing my back and pulling me on top of him and cracking my back,” Victim 1 said about bedtime when he stayed with Sandusky.
“I kind of thought that he sees me as family and this is what his family does,” the teen said.
In time, Victim 1 said, Sandusky abused the boy sexually. “Asked whether he told his mother, the teen said he was too embarrassed and feared she wouldn't believe him. He said he began having problems at home, acting out, wetting his bed and getting into fights,” the Morning Call reported.
Eventually, the boy spoke up to his mother, who reported the allegations to his school. That triggered the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and attorney general’s office.
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