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Accuser says Sandusky called himself the ‘tickle monster’
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Three more accusers took the stand at Jerry Sandusky's sex-abuse trial Thursday, one of whom said the former Penn State assistant football coach called himself the "tickle monster" before embracing him in a shower and another who said he was forced into sex acts during more than 100 nights he spent in the ex-coach's home.
A state investigator also testified that authorities heard about a key witness, assistant coach Mike McQueary, through an anonymous email to Centre County prosecutors. The investigator, Anthony Sassano, said that authorities identified some of Mr. Sandusky's alleged victims through pictures and lists seized from his home and office, and that the university was "not very quick" in getting information to investigators as part of the probe.
A third alleged victim who testified Thursday said he loved Mr. Sandusky and that he viewed him as a father figure. He then said that he became angry with Mr. Sandusky when he never reached out to him after he moved away.
The three alleged victims who testified Thursday brought to eight the number of accusers to take the stand in the trial's first four days. Jurors also heard about two other alleged victims who have not been located by investigators.
After testimony ended Thursday, Judge John Cleland said court would resume Monday.
The ex-coach faces 52 criminal counts involving alleged assaults of 10 boys over a 15-year span. He denies the charges, which brought disgrace to Penn State and led to the ouster of the school's president and Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
Mr. Sandusky's attorney questioned both accusers Thursday about connections they had with other alleged victims. The defense has claimed that the accusers have financial motives, but they all have denied that.
The last of the trial's eight accusers was an 18-year-old who recently graduated from high school. The teen said his mother summoned police to their home to talk to him after Mr. Sandusky's arrest in November 2011.
The accuser said Thursday that he was 11 or 12 when he first met the former coach in 2004. Mr. Sandusky took him to Penn State football games and gave him money and gifts, including a tennis racket and a running suit.
The teen testified that he ended up staying at the Sandusky home more than 100 times up until 2009, maybe even 150 or so, sleeping in the basement, which had a water bed.
The sexual abuse began with oral sex and elevated into anal sex, he said.
"There was no fighting against it," he said, adding that sometimes he would scream and "tell him to get off me."
During his cross examination, the teenager said he screamed out for help at least once when Mr. Sandusky's wife, Dottie, was in the house, but he did not know if she heard him because he thought the basement was "soundproof."
"Nobody can hear you down there," he said.
Earlier Thursday, the other accuser testified that Mr. Sandusky called himself the "tickle monster" and embraced the then-11-year-old boy in a Penn State shower in 1998, an encounter that prompted an investigation but ultimately ended without any charges being filed.
The then-district attorney's decision not to bring charges was a mistake, an investigator testified.
The now-25-year-old man, known in court records as Victim 6, told jurors Mr. Sandusky embraced him in a locker room shower, lathered up his back and shoulders then lifted him chest-to-chest to a shower head to rinse out his hair.
The man said the shared shower happened after a brief workout at a campus gym - even though he hadn't broken a sweat. His mother went to authorities when she saw her son come home with wet hair, although the inquiry spawned by her report didn't lead to any charges.
Ronald Schreffler, one of the investigators who interviewed the boy and Sandusky at the time, told the court that he thought charges were warranted but that the district attorney, Ray Gricar, disagreed.
Mr. Gricar cannot explain his decision - he disappeared in 2005 and was later declared legally dead.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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