BELLEFONTE — A few years ago, Jerry Sandusky let a former Second Mile participant in town for the weekend borrow his car.
He gave the same young man Penn State football tickets for years and even gave him money for a mission trip to Mexico.
But well before those gestures of goodwill, Sandusky showered with the same young man, and an alarmed mother who saw her son's wet hair reported the incident to Penn State police.
The investigation in 1998 was never prosecuted, the boy was upset that his mother reported it all, and he kept Sandusky in his life until state police contacted him last year, asking him to recount that shower incident in 1998.
Time changed his view of Sandusky, he testified Thursday in the Centre County Courthouse, where Sandusky is on trial facing 52 counts of child sex abuse.
The witness said he felt "icky" showering with Sandusky and "uncomfortable" about the whole incident, which has taken on a life of its own, seen as an opportunity authorities missed to stop Sandusky from allegedly abusing boys.
"As I started to go over it in my mind, I quickly realized my perception changed, thinking about it as an adult as opposed to an 11-year-old, that that was inappropriate what happened," he testified Thursday. "That was inappropriate, what happened to me.
"I feel violated."
'This is icky'
The young man said he introduced himself to Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic at Spring Creek Park in Houserville in 1998. Sandusky later phoned him to go work out together, something the man said he was excited to do.
On the ride over, Sandusky touched his knee, which felt "a little bit odd" and he inched away, he testified.
When they arrived on campus to work out, Sandusky showed him around. He was excited to see then-head coach Joe Paterno's office and Sandusky even gave him a pair of Paterno's socks.
The workout lasted 15 or 20 minutes before Sandusky insisted they take a shower.
"My immediate thought was, 'I'm not even sweating yet,' " he testified. "But I didn't want to be awkward about it."
Sandusky turned on a shower for him, joked with and tickled him, he said.
"I think he said he was the tickle monster," the young man testified.
Nothing sexual happened, he testified, although they were both naked and the last thing he remembered was Sandusky giving him a bear hug and picking him up to rinse off soap.
"I remember seeing his chest hair next to my face," he testified. He remembered thinking, "This is just ... this is icky."
When asked by Amendola if he remembered if Sandusky was aroused, he said, "I tried my very best not to look down. I do not know if he had an erection."
The young man doesn't remember going home, but he testified he dropped a hint for his mom after returning: If she wondered why his hair was wet, it's because he had taken a shower with Sandusky.
The boy's mother called police, and the detective on the case, Ronald Schreffler, testified Thursday that he set up a sting to record a conversation to get Sandusky to talk about the shower incident.
During the conversation, according to the report Schreffler read, Sandusky told her: "I wish I could ask for forgiveness. I know I will not get it from you I wish I were dead."
The young man was evaluated by his psychologist, Alycia Chambers, and another therapist recommended by Centre County Children and Youth Services, John Seasock.
The young man said he thought Seasock didn't understand what he was talking about, he testified.
On cross-examination, Amendola was the most animated he'd been so far in the trial that's seen a number of young men testify they were touched, bear-hugged, or forced to receive or give oral sex.
Amendola zeroed in on how alleged victim No. 6 stayed in touch with Sandusky as recently as last year.
The young man testified he attended lots of football games over the years, getting tickets from Sandusky.
He borrowed Sandusky's car one weekend, he sent Sandusky text messages on Father's Day in 2009, and then later that year for Thanksgiving, he sent him a card that said "Happy Thanksgiving, bro. Glad God placed you in my life."
The young man, now 25, testified that he had lunch with Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, last year.
But Howard Janet, the young man's civil attorney, said later Thursday that the lunch was billed by Sandusky as a Second Mile reunion and his client got police permission to attend.
He reported back to police about it, the attorney said.
Amendola questioned why the man got a civil attorney, but the young man refuted the insinuation he did that to make money from a lawsuit.
Asked by Amendola why he dismissed the positive experiences and changed his mind about Sandusky after talking to police last year, the young man replied: "I've gone through a lot of emotional roller coasters since then," the young man said.
After testimony had wrapped up for the day and the judge told the jury to return on Monday, the young man stood in the shade in front of the Centre County Courthouse.
He had changed from the sport coat and khaki pants he wore on the witness stand to a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
Through his sunglasses, he watched the crowd of news reporters preparing to go live on the air at 5 p.m.
He fidgeted around with his cellphone. He held a toothpick steady in his mouth.
Asked while standing outside how he was after testifying, he said he felt "disassociation" about the whole experience.
He didn't say much else, then walked around a corner and away from a difficult day.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT