D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, who along with John Allen Muhammad terrorized the Washington area in 2002 with their killing spree, is claiming Mohammed sexually abused him before and during the murder rampage.
"I felt a sense of shame, and I just said, 'That's just something that I'd never tell anyone.' And to a certain extent, up until that point, I really couldn't handle it," Malvo, now 27, told the “Today” show.
Malvo was just 17 years old when the D.C.-area killings he committed with Muhammad targeted random victims.
The D.C. sniper said he opened up about the sexual abuse now because he was old enough to deal with it.
"As far as the guilt that I carried around for several years, I dealt with that to a large extent for years. And now, I can handle this," Malvo said.
The 27-year-old says the abuse began when he was 15 years old and continued until he and Muhammad were arrested in the D.C. sniper killings.
Ten people were killed in the shootings, which Muhammad and Malvo committed from the trunk of a retrofitted Chevrolet Caprice.
But Malvo claimed the death count was higher than what authorities attributed to him and Muhammad. He said he reached out to the families of other victims he said were not identified by authorities.
"Without anyone contacting me 2 1/2 years ago, I reached out and I did that. In five different instances in different states. But there was a point in time where psychologically, I couldn't handle it ... I cannot afford to break down psychologically in here because there will be no help,” he said.
Malvo said he was also subject to previous sexual abuse and confided in Muhammad about his dark secrets.
“I just basically divulged everything,’’ Malvo said. “I saw [Muhammad] to be an excellent listener. So, in doing so, without ambivalence, without holding anything back, I provided him with a blueprint. He knew exactly what motivated me, what I was looking for, what was lacking.”
Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in the D.C. sniper killings, while Muhammad was sentenced to death. Muhammad was executed via lethal injection in 2009.