The man known as Victim 5 still has nightmares about what Jerry Sandusky did to him, flashbacks of the former Penn State coach’s naked body.
He realizes the behavior Sandusky masqueraded as horseplay with him as a 13-year-old was really sexual assault.
“I continue to be haunted by the incident,” the man said in Centre County court on Tuesday during Sandusky’s sentencing hearing.
He and two other victims spoke, and lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan read the statements of another victim and a victim’s mother.
In the end, Judge John Cleland handed down a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison for Sandusky, whose attorneys already are planning an appeal.
Cleland addressed the victims during the sentencing, telling them that the fact that they were assaulted was no fault of their own and should not be cause for shame.
“It is for your courage and not for your assault that you will be remembered and on which you must focus if you are to become whole and heal,” Cleland said.
The victims, emotional at times, addressed Sandusky and the court, asking him to acknowledge what he had done and the court to remember that when handing down a sentence.
“He took away my childhood the day he assaulted me,” Victim 5 said. “He should be sentenced accordingly.”
Victim 4 told Sandusky that he was the person in his life who was supposed to be a role model, someone to be honored and respected.
“I can’t begin to explain how this has screwed up my life,” he said.
Like others, Victim 4 met Sandusky through The Second Mile, the nonprofit the former Penn State coach founded for at-risk children.
Sandusky, the young man said, could have taken responsibility for his actions, pleaded guilty and spared his victims. Instead, his attorney attacked their credibility.
Sandusky was convicted and sentenced for abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years, including one child whose mother called Penn State police in 1998 when her son came home from an outing with Sandusky and had wet hair. Charges weren’t filed after an investigation.
On Monday, that victim — known as No. 6 — said Sandusky left him with “deep painful wounds” that are “buried in the garden of my heart for years.”
He said he realizes now looking back on that 1998 shower incident that Sandusky had manipulated him into thinking he was an incredible person. He said his personality had changed for the worse, and his family suffered for many years.
Quoting from the Bible, he told Sandusky to stop being in denial about what he had done.
“It’s time to stop coming up with excuses for your behavior,” he said.