Sandusky Victim 1 Steps Out of Shadows, Says Justice Took Too Long

Penn State victim says officials at his own high school stood in way of justice.

ByABC News
October 18, 2012, 4:55 PM

Oct. 19, 2012 — -- He was known only as Victim 1 in one of the most infamous child sexual abuse cases in history. But this week, Aaron Fisher revealed his identity to the world and, in an exclusive interview with "20/20's" Chris Cuomo, told the story of those he said stood in his way as he struggled to bring now-convicted child predator Jerry Sandusky to justice: officials at his own high school.

"Here I am, beside my mom, crying, telling them and they don't believe me," he said in an interview with Cuomo airing on "20/20" tonight at 10 p.m. ET. "I knew they wouldn't."

Fisher has detailed his struggle to have his allegations against Sandusky, formerly a revered Penn State University football coach, taken seriously in a new book,"Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky."

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."

Watch the exclusive interview on "20/20" online.

Young Aaron came from a struggling family and didn't have a father at home. Dawn Daniels, Fisher's mother, recalled the times Sandusky took the boy away for the weekend to give her a break.

"Everybody knew who he was," said Daniels, "He's a great guy. Everybody, even my own father, said he does great things for kids."

Sandusky's reputation had preceded him and put Daniels at ease as far as allowing her son to spend so much time with Sandusky. But according to Fisher, Sandusky slowly turned from a "father figure" into something much darker.

"He'd put his hand on my leg while we were driving," Fisher said, "My family never did that, so it was kind of weird."

By the time Fisher was 12, Sandusky was sexually assaulting him. Fisher said fear, shame and confusion prevented him from seeking help and telling anyone about his tormentor.

"There were so many emotions and thoughts running through my head," he said. "Being a kid, you never know what to do, and you don't know who to tell because you don't know who you can trust."

For information on getting help for victims of childhood sexual abuse, visit Let Go...Let Peace Come In and, for males,

Fisher said Sandusky began seeking him out at his own high school, Central Mountain High School in Lock Haven, Pa. Sandusky was a volunteer football coach there and would pull him out of class, with school officials' blessing.

Daniels said the school never notified her about all of the classes her son missed because of Sandusky and Fisher said no teacher or administrator ever questioned Sandusky's motives.

It grew to be too much and Fisher said he tried to do everything in his power to stay away from the ex-Penn State coach, sometimes hiding in school bathrooms rather to avoid meeting with Sandusky. But Sandusky only grew more aggressive, Fisher said.

"He once followed my bus home from school," he said. "I took off running but he drove on the opposite side of the street, onto oncoming traffic to catch up with me. I ran up an alley and he went to my house and parked out front."

Daniels said she was alarmed by the hundreds of phone calls Sandusky made to the house. 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."