BELLEFONTE — In the photograph, Jerry Sandusky is smiling, surrounded by boys, mostly young, his arms stretched around some of them.
Three of the more than half-dozen youngsters captured in the image testified in Centre County court Wednesday that the man who reached out to them — calling their parents to arrange outings to Penn State football games — eventually sexually molested them.
Their stories came after two other alleged victims who had previously testified, and followed a similar pattern: meeting Sandusky through The Second Mile, his nonprofit for at-risk youth, then being singled out to go to games and work out with him.
Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, is on trial, charged with molesting 10 young boys over 15 years.
The photograph of Sandusky and the boys was shown to the jury Wednesday.
“I thought it was going to be a lot of fun,” alleged victim No. 5 said of going to a Nittany Lions game with Sandusky.
The 23-year-old became tearful as he testified about the one sexual encounter he had with Sandusky.
He said that after using exercise equipment, they went in a sauna wearing towels, where, the man testified, Sandusky sat down, exposing his genitals by spreading his legs so his towel opened up.
“He sat back and exposed himself to me,” the man said.
“It felt like forever,” he said of sitting in the sauna with Sandusky. “It was really hot.”
After the sauna, they took showers.
“I noticed that his penis was enlarged, but I didn’t understand the significance of it back then,” he said, becoming emotional.
He said Sandusky began to lather his back and that he felt the older man’s penis against his back. He said Sandusky took his hand and put it on Sandusky’s genitals. The witness, about 12 at the time of the incident, said he was able to round the corner of the shower and get away, he said, using a tissue to wipe his face.
On cross-examination, Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola asked him about changing the date of the alleged incident.
The man had told a grand jury that the incident happened in 1998, but is now saying it happened in 2001. The man said he remembered the date as 2001 after thinking about what school he was in at the time.
Along with hearing from six witnesses Wednesday, the jury listened to about 10 minutes of an interview Sandusky did with Bob Costas in November for the show “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” The prosecution only ran the audio of the interview, in which Costas asked Sandusky if he was sexually attracted to boys.
“Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?” Sandusky said in response to the question. “Sexually attracted? No, I enjoy young people, I love to be around them. But no, I’m not sexually attracted.”
In another photograph shown to the jury Wednesday, alleged victim No. 7 appears in his home, standing beside Jerry Sandusky as the two get ready to go on their first outing together.
He said he went to a camp run by The Second Mile because he was having trouble in school.
Like other alleged victims who have testified, alleged victim No. 7 said Sandusky would put his hand on the boy’s knee when they were riding in a car.
“Sometimes he would squeeze to the point I would just about cry out in pain,” he said.
He would try to move over on the car seat or sit in the back seat of the car when he was riding in Sandusky’s car with a group of kids.
He testified that he began staying at Sandusky’s house overnight in 1995 or 1996, and said Sandusky would get into bed, curling up behind him and reaching his arms around to the boy’s front.
“To this day I’m sort of repulsed by chest hair now,” he testified. “I just remember the feeling of it pressed up against my back.”
He said Sandusky also tried to soap and shampoo him, when he was 10 or 11 years old, in the shower of the Holuba Hall sports complex on campus after they exercised together. Eventually, the relationship began to fade. While the boy would still get football tickets from Sandusky until 2009, he testified Wednesday, he thought other kids were Sandusky’s “favorites.”
The witness acknowledged getting an attorney after talking with police and investigators, and Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola questioned why his testimony today was different than what he told a grand jury, including on whether Sandusky had touched the boy’s penis while putting his hand down his pants and that they didn’t have physical contact in the shower.
He said through counseling, more memories have come back.
“I had everything negative blocked out,” the witness said.
The jury also heard from alleged victim No. 10, who said Sandusky became sexual with him when the two were wrestling in Sandusky’s basement.
“The defendant pinned me to the ground, pulled my shorts down, and started performing oral sex on me,” he testified.
He said he never told anyone what happened.
“He told me that if I told anybody I would never see my family again,” he said.
The man said that Sandusky later apologized and said he didn’t mean the threat and that Sandusky loved him.
He had other encounters with Sandusky, testifying that he had performed oral sex on Sandusky. On one occasion, the young man said he refused, upsetting Sandusky.
Alleged victim 10 acknowledged that he had legal problems, spending time in state prison for robbery, but said his life is back on track.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter