Later tonight, 20/20 will air an interview with Aaron Fisher, the young man whose accusations against Jerry Sandusky led to the latter’s recent conviction. Fisher was known as ‘Victim 1’ in court and media reports. In his interview, he recounts how things started:
He was 11 when he met Jerry Sandusky in the summer of 2005. Fisher was selected to attend a summer camp run by Sandusky’s charity organization for disadvantaged children, The Second Mile, on Penn State’s campus.
Fisher said Sandusky immediately took a special interest in him. He encouraged Fisher’s athletic interests, taking him to both college and pro sports events.
“We sat in box seats,” said Fisher. “He was just kind of like a giant stuffed teddy bear. He seemed like the all-natural father figure — something that most kids wished their dads did.”
He also recounted the response he got when he finally reported the abuse to the principal of his school:
By the time Fisher was 15, he reached a breaking point and finally summoned the courage to tell his mother and the school’s principal, Karen Probst, that Sandusky was sexually abusing him.
“Aaron was melting down in the office,” Daniels said. “I immediately told them we need to call the police.”
But the mother and son say they were shocked by the principal’s response.
“They said that Jerry has a heart of gold and that he wouldn’t do those type of things,” Daniels said “They tell me to go home and think about it.”
Fisher states in the interview that he did not expect Sandusky to receive the long sentence. Rather, he expected Sandusky to “get off scot free with this.”
That is at least one thing he and Sandusky have in common. Sandusky’s attorneys filed their appeals on Thursday:
Lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach filed a 31-page document Thursday that attacked rulings by the judge, the closing argument by the prosecution and the speed by which he went from arrest to trial.
Sandusky wants the charges tossed out ”and/or” a new trial, saying the statute of limitations had run out for many of the 45 counts for which he was convicted in June. Currently in a county jail near State College, he is awaiting transfer to the state prison system to begin serving a 30- to 60-year sentence.
As I noted in my post about the sentencing, Sandusky does have an argument in regards to the speed of the trial and how prosecutors handled the evidence. Just a week before the trial, prosecutors unloaded pages of evidence on Sandusky’s lawyers. They had little time to properly review the evidence or interview witnesses. Likewise, the judge denied multiple requests for continuances, even though even DUI cases often get them.
Just to show how odd this situation is, the George Zimmerman trial will not start until June 10, 2013. That will be 18 months after Zimmerman’s initial arrest. Just a year after national news about the Sandusky case broke, Sandusky has been arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced despite the case dealing with ten separate victims, eight of whom testified in court.
That said, it is unlikely that Sandusky will win an appeal unless the prosecutors did something very egregious.