By David DeKok
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A man who says he was the unidentified boy seen in 2001 in a shower with convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky is expected to tell a hearing on Friday that the former Penn State assistant football coach was a father figure who never molested him.
The man, identified in court papers as "A.M.", or "Victim #2," will take the stand for the first time in the case, which led to Sandusky's 2012 conviction for molesting 10 boys. The ex-coach is now seeking a retrial, reviving a scandal that roiled Pennsylvania State University and the vaunted football program run by the legendary head coach Joe Paterno.
Victim #2 is expected to say that investigators pressured him to implicate Sandusky after he initially told them that nothing improper took place when he and Sandusky were in the locker room shower, according to court papers filed by Alexander Lindsay, the lawyer handling Sandusky’s post-conviction appeals.
Victim #2 never testified in Sandusky's trial because prosecutors concluded that his story had too many holes.
Sandusky was convicted on the testimony of eight other boys and Michael McQueary, a former football player and graduate assistant at Penn State. McQueary testified that he had told administrators that he saw the ex-coach having sex with a boy who appeared to be eight to 10 years old.
Last month, McQueary was awarded $7.3 million in damages from Penn State. He accused the university of destroying his career because he gave information to investigators that led to Sandusky's conviction. He also accused Penn State of covering up what administrators knew about Sandusky's conduct.
Lindsay aims to prove that the former coach's original lawyer, Joseph Amendola, was incompetent. This is the fourth evidentiary hearing to be held in the appeal.
By having Victim #2 testify, Lindsay hopes to prove that Amendola should have called the boy as a defense witness, and should have objected when state prosecutor Joseph McGettigan told the jury that Victim #2 was “known only to God.”
Lindsay said in the court papers that Victim #2 will testify that he initially told investigators that Sandusky was involved in no misconduct against him and that they pressured him to change his story.
To show that Sandusky was a mentor to him, the man is expected to testify that he attended Sandusky’s mother’s funeral, lived with the Sandusky family as an adult for a period and asked Sandusky to attend his wedding, Lindsay said in the court papers.
Judge John Cleland is expected to render a decision on Sandusky’s petition for a new trial at a later date.
(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Andrew Hay)