Alleged Sandusky victim tells NBC: ‘He knows what he did’

Posted: June 22, 2012

An Ohio man became the second purported victim of Jerry Sandusky to divulge his name and publicly accuse the former coach of child molestation in an interview Thursday with NBC News.

Travis Weaver, 30, alleged that the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach coaxed him into locker room showers, took him to bowl games, and often invited him to sleep over at his State College home. In all, he said, he was abused more than 100 times over a period of four years starting when he was 10.

"I'd punch him in his mouth," Weaver said, when asked what he would do if he saw the former coach again. "He knows what he did. I know what he did. . . . I'll be OK when he's in prison."

His interview - which aired on NBC's Rock Center newsmagazine show - aired minutes after a Centre County jury ended its first day of deliberations in Sandusky's child-sex-abuse trial. It came hours after Sandusky's 33-year-old adopted son, Matt, also came forward to lodge sex-abuse claims against his father.

The details of Weaver's story align with many described by eight other accusers who testified at the trial during the past two weeks. Though those young men took the stand under their own names, their identities have been withheld.

It is The Inquirer's general policy not to identify the victims of sexual abuse. Weaver, however, said Thursday he was speaking out now in part because of the guilt he felt about not coming forward earlier, when his allegations might have stopped further alleged instances of molestation.

In December, he filed a civil suit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court under the pseudonym "John Doe A," seeking damages from Sandusky, Penn State, and the Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded in 1977 for underprivileged youth.

A judge suspended that case earlier this year, pending the outcome of the former coach's criminal trial. Weaver is not among the accusers involved in that proceeding.

"If I would have said something, I could have stopped him from being around those other kids," he told the network.

Sandusky has repeatedly denied charges he molested 10 boys over 15 years. His attorney Joseph Amendola has alleged that those young men and Weaver have made up allegations in hopes of securing windfall judgments from civil suits.

Weaver's story, as told to NBC, differed in some ways from that of the criminal case's accusers. For instance, his allegations predate any of those presented to jurors.

He said he first met Sandusky in 1992, after a counselor recommended him to a Second Mile summer camp. At the time, he fit a profile that matched many of Sandusky's current accusers.

His parents had split up and his father was struggling to raise him and two siblings on the salary he earned working at the Penn State television station, he said.

Soon after, Sandusky purportedly began inviting him to Penn State football games and workouts at the university's athletic facilities.

"It was great," said Weaver. "It was like meeting my hero."

But the coach, he said, also insisted the two shower together after working up a sweat.

While many of the purported victims in the criminal case described being groped during showers with Sandusky, none directly testified that they were orally or anally raped in a Penn State locker room.

Jurors, however, did hear testimony last week about two purported victims - who remain unknown to prosecutors - whose alleged rapes in the locker rooms were spotted by others.

Weaver told NBC that much of his abuse happened after showering.

"He'd dry me off with a towel and say he was trying to wrestle with me," he said. "Then he'd have me just lay on top of him, while we were both still naked. He'd rub my backside. Sometimes he'd roll on top of me and blow on my stomach and rub my genitals."

Weaver alleged that touching eventually evolved into oral and anal rape.

But at age 14, he said he eventually told Sandusky to stop while the two were visiting Philadelphia on a fund-raising trip for the Second Mile. The coach purportedly responded with a threat.

"He just laughed at me and forced me to stay on the bed," he said. "He told me that if I ever said anything, no one would believe me and that he'd get my father fired from Penn State."

Weaver told NBC his abuse stopped when he moved in with his mother in Cleveland in an attempt to break off contact with Sandusky. Sixteen years later, he said, he still remains angry at the adults who could have stepped in.

He called Mike McQueary, a Penn State assistant football coach who testified last week he walked in on Sandusky sodomizing a boy in 2001, "a coward" for not doing more at the time.

As for Sandusky's wife, Dorothy, Weaver said, "I always thought she was a mean person for the way she treated me. I always thought she was cold . . . stern."

Weaver's attorney, Jeff Anderson, praised his client Thursday for coming forward publicly.

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Anderson has represented hundreds of sexual-abuse victims worldwide. He and his cocounsel on the case, Marci Hamilton, have filed more than a half-dozen claims this year against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its priests, and church officials.

"We applaud Travis Weaver for his courage and desire to speak out in order to help others," he said. "Travis made the decision to go public . . . so that he could know at the end of the day that he has done everything he can to help other children."

Deliberations in Sandusky's criminal trial are expected to resume Friday morning.


Contact Jeremy Roebuck at 267-564-5218 or jroebuck@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @jeremyrroebuck.

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