Nearly a year since the Penn State scandal erupted, a new book by 'victim #1' of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky comes out this week.
Identified as 18-year-old Aaron Fisher, he wrote the book with the help of his mother and psychologist Michael Gillum. “Silent No More” chronicles Fisher’s abuse, his psychological trauma and his ambitions to become a cop.
Sarah Ganim, the Patriot News reporter who first broke the story of the grand jury investigation into Sandusky’s case back in March of 2011, is mentioned in the book. A Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and CNN Contributor, Ganim talks to John Berman on “Early Start” to share her take on the case and the inspiring new book.
Ganim says the book was “a pretty brave account.” The majority of the book was written by his psychologist, and Ganim personally wrote six chapters about his experience. “My first impression was that this kid has come a really long way from three or four years ago, when he came forward.”
Ganim remarks that Fisher was “one of the most emotional, most hesitant” victims to came forward to describe what happened to him in the times that he was interviewed. “He really makes great strides to explain what happened to him, to explain what the sexual abuse was like.” Ganim thinks he intends “to give some hope to victims who are still silent.”
A final decision in the Jerry Sandusky case will be made in just a few hours today. After he was found guilty of molesting and raping ten boys, Sandusky will find out if he will be sentenced to a life behind bars.
The dethroned former Penn State assistant football coach spoke out on the eve of his sentencing to a student radio station last night. He claimed innocence and essentially blamed the victims, “the system” and the school for conspiring against him. Victims Rights Attorney Gloria Allred joins “Early Start” this morning with details of the effects of Sandusky’s statements on today’s sentencing.
Allred does not think it was a smart move for Sandusky to tape the interview. “This is very, very bad timing for him,” Allred says. “The judge should not take it into account because it is not said in the courtroom. But judges are human beings too, they know what’s going on out in the world. It’s hard to ignore this one.”
“I think it’s a big mistake,” that Sandusky’s lawyer was on board for the interview, although he claims that he didn't know what Sandusky was going to say. “I think Jerry Sandusky just got himself just into a heap of trouble by doing interviews even before he was convicted. That really hurt him.” Allred thinks that Sandusky needs to take responsibility for his actions and “stop blaming anyone else and everyone else.”
“He’s not helping himself by doing this. He’s hurting himself,” she adds.
Allred also weighs in on how much victim statements influence a judge’s sentence. “I’m sure that this judge, having heard all of the victim testimony,” she says, “does understand what they have suffered. And that will be a factor in the sentencing.”
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky may face up to life in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday morning for sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.
And while some of his victims and Sandusky himself are expected to address the judge during the proceedings, he pleaded his case in an audio statement that aired Monday in which he protests his innocence and says he is falsely accused.
"They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart," the former coach at Penn State says. "In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts."
In his statement, Sandusky also accused the judge of bringing the case to trial too quickly, the victims of conspiring together and the attorneys of trying to make money in future civil suits. Members of his defense team have long maintained that they were denied sufficient time to prepare.
This morning on "Early Start," Susan Candiotti reports on Sandusky's statement, and has a response from one of the victims in the case. She also previews today's sentencing hearing.
As the Paterno statue is removed from outside Beaver Stadium, new disciplinary actions threaten the football community of Penn State. A source close to the case tells CNN the NCAA is set to punish the university with sanctions based on the findings of the Freeh report. The "significant, unprecedented penalties" will include fines of more than $30 million dollars and the loss of a number of scholarships.
While not divulging specifics, the source said, "The penalties go well beyond the loss of a scholarship or not being able to go to a bowl game." Susan Candiotti reports.
CNN contributor Sunny Hostin on if the Penn State report could lead to more charges in the Sandusky child abuse scandal.
(CNN) - The long-awaited findings of an internal review into how Penn State University handled allegations of child sex abuse by a former assistant football coach are scheduled to be released Thursday morning.
Louis Freeh, the former FBI director and federal judge, spearheaded the university-funded probe into a scandal that has shaken Pennsylvania residents and gripped the nation, leading to the dismissal of legendary head coach Joe Paterno, as well as the ouster of the university's longtime president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley.
Speculation over the report's contents and its possible recommendations have raised questions about what Penn State officials and others may have known, if anything, about the behavior of Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted in June of sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period.
This morning on "Early Start," Susan Candiotti previews the Freeh report.
Sara Ganim on Jerry Sandusky's adopted son Matt's claims he was abused and why the trial jury didn't hear his story.
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son, Matt, are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
Matt Sandusky, now 33, came forward this week as his father's child-sex trial drew to a close to say he, too, had been molested by Jerry Sandusky and was willing to testify. The jury enters their second day of deliberations today, where they will review the letters Jerry Sandusky wrote, and may well hold the key to some of the most serious charges against him.
This morning on "Early Start," CNN contributor Sara Ganim on why jurors won't ever hear Matt Sandusky's admission.
Susan Candiotti on closing arguments set to begin in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial.
Susan Candiotti on Jerry Sandusky's possible testimony in the last day of the defense case in his child sex abuse trial.