Penn State Scandal: Mother of Alleged Victim Says Son Was Afraid to Tell Sandusky 'No'

In an exclusive interview, the boy's mother tells how she learned of abuse.

November 11, 2011, 3:25 AM

Nov. 11, 2011— -- The mother of the boy who triggered the investigation into Jerry Sandusky's alleged child sex assaults says that during the years of abuse the boy suffered he felt he didn't have the power to say no to the former Penn State football coach.

Speaking exclusively with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' "Good Morning America" the mother of the boy, who is referred to in court papers as Victim 1, describes how she learned of the abuse and how her son lived in fear of coming forward to implicate a football coaching legend.

"I had said, 'You know, maybe we should have come to this conclusion earlier -- you should have told me,'" the mother, whose name is being withheld, said she told her son. "He was like, 'Well, I didn't know what to do … you just can't tell Jerry no.'"

Sandusky, now 67, would often have the boy stay at his home after they met when he was 11 in 2005 through the Second Mile program, which the coach founded for at-risk youth. According to the grand jury investigation, Sandusky "indecently fondled Victim 1 on a number of occasions, performed oral sex on Victim 1 on a number of occasions and had Victim 1 perform oral sex on him on at least one occasion."

In the interview, the boy's mother discusses how she gradually became aware of the abuse her son was suffering at Sandusky's hands. Her boy would act out violently to intentionally become grounded and avoid seeing Sandusky, she says, and at one point he came to her saying he wanted to know how to look up information on sex offenders.

"[I] proceeded to ask him if there was something he needed to tell me, if there was something going on … it wasn't 'til a month later when he indicated he was uncomfortable with leaving the school with him, and [Sandusky] pulling him out of classes at school," she said.

According to the grand jury presentment that led to Sandusky's arrest last week on 40 counts of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period, the coach had unfettered access to the Clinton County high school attended by Victim 1. Sandusky, who volunteered at the school's varsity football program, would often have unmonitored meetings with the boy. On one occasion a school wrestling coach witnessed inappropriate touching between the two in a secluded weight room, according to the grand jury presentment.

Read the entire grand jury presentment.

Though she was unable to get any direct answers from her son by prodding him about Sandusky's behavior, the boy's mother expressed her concerns to the school, who in turn spoke with the boy. She was quickly called to the school where she learned more about the situation.

"I'm infuriated … Even if they had the slightest inclination that anything inappropriate was going on it should have been reported, or at least brought to my attention," she said. "I didn't even know he was leaving the school with my child, taking him out of classes. They never told me that."

The school's assistant principal told the grand jury that Sandusky was barred from the school district as soon as the mother had expressed concern about the coach's relationship with her son.

Throughout the course of the investigation and through testimony from her son, the boy's mother has learned what allegedly happened between her boy and Sandusky while he would sleep at the coach's home.

The boy testified that when staying in Sandusky's basement, the coach would come down and get into bed, crawling underneath him and running his arms up and down the boy's back to "crack" it. He testified that this led to further inappropriate touching during the summer of 2005 through 2006, when he was in seventh grade. This soon led to inappropriate sexual contact.

"I was horrified. I was absolutely horrified," Victim 1's mother said. "I knew some details but I didn't know that it was that, I didn't know it was that bad. It's caused a lot of nightmares, for him and I both."

'They All Need to be Gone'

The boy's mother says that she does believe that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno had a moral responsibility to take action once he heard of Sandusky's alleged assault, and agrees that he should have been fired for his silence.

"I think if he had any inclination of this, he may have done what he legally needed to do, but there's got to be some moral bearing, in my opinion. Yes, they all needed to be gone," she said. "The people that hid this need to pay for their actions. They allowed this to happen to a lot of kids."

Though court records indicate that the boy's mother placed one call to Sandusky's cell phone between January 2008 and July 2009 -- after she learned of his alleged abuse -- she told ABC News that she never confronted him.

"The amount of anger that I feel is probably not a good thing, and I've kept my distance. At one point I thought I'd just like to ask him why, why he did this, why he used all these kids and this charity," she said, adding that she believes that the abuse goes far beyond the eight boys that have been identified in the grand jury report as Sandusky's victims.

"I think there's other kids out there, and probably adults at this time. I hope they're brave enough to come forward and stand with us to help for the children ... There's so many years that he was involved in this organization, and so many years that he had access to these children, and I don't believe that it stops at eight," she said.

Her son, she said, does not like to talk openly about what happened -- even with her, though she says their relationship is close. He is a brave kid, she says, and while he wishes the best for Penn State, he is very concerned about this sort of abuse not happening to other children.

"He's doing ok, he's handling it. He's kind of relieved that [Sandusky] was charged finally … It's kind of overwhelming for all of us. We expected it would get big, but we never expected it would be this bad, and so many people covering it up," she said.

"He's a brave kid," she added. "And he'll do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't happen again."

As for her, she wants Sandusky to pay for his alleged crimes.

"I want justice. I want him to be locked up," she said. "There's no help for someone who does this. Not like this. He needs to be put away. He needs to be put away for a long time."

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos contributed to this report