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Even if Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims convince a jury he’s guilty, they will still have to reveal details of their lives that could traumatize them all over again, one expert said.”And that’s pretty awful for somebody that’s been abused, Philadelphia-based social worker Dr. John Giugliano told Business Insider.
“Basically who’s on trial here is the victims,” he said.
The former Penn State assistant coach, whose trial began Monday, faces 52 criminal counts that he sexually abused 10 boys.
“The whole issue of sex is stigmatised, particularly same-sex sex,” Giugliano, who teaches at Widener University, said. “We’re talking about a very deep level of shame.”
The first of eight men scheduled to speak against Sandusky took the stand Monday afternoon. The man, now 28, told jurors Sandusky would shower with him and put his hand on the then-boy’s leg, The Boston Globe reported.
The man said Sandusky propositioned him for oral sex and threatened to send him home from bowl games if he refused.
But the man never told his grandmother, with whom he was living at the time.
”No, no way. I was too scared to,” he testified, according to The Boston Globe.
The man and his fellow accusers face stigmatization from friends and family, as well as the tight-knit State College community, for their testimony, according to Giugliano.
And the strain of a trial multiplies if the men weren’t mentally prepared to share their stories.
“Having been exposed as one of the victims publicly, I would think can be traumatic for somebody that’s not ready for that type of disclosure,” Giugliano said.
But since the case is in full swing, they’re faced with a speak-now-or-forever-hold-you’re-peace situation.
“The case is now, they don’t have much choice about that,” Giugliano said.
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, shocked everyone when he announced Monday that Sandusky would take the stand.
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