Aaron Fisher is speaking out publicly by name for the first time as the young man whose claims of abuse began the criminal investigation that put Jerry Sandusky in prison.
In an interview airing Friday on ABC's “20/20,” Fisher said he contemplated suicide because authorities took so long to prosecute the former Penn State assistant football coach. In addition, Fisher tells the network that the Pennsylvania attorney general's office had told him it needed more victims before Sandusky would be charged.
While Sandusky was arrest just last November, Fisher, who first reported the abuse in 2008, said the delay made him increasingly desperate.
“I thought maybe it would be easier to take myself out of the equation,” he told ABC. “Let somebody else deal with it.”
The now 18-year-old Fisher took the stand during the Sandusky trial under the pseudonym “Victim 1.” According to ABC News, he, his mother and his psychologist have co-written a forthcoming book about his ordeal.
Reports from the trial, which ended with Sandusky receiving a guilty verdict along with 30-60 years behind bars, indicate that Fisher told jurors that the former Penn State assistant coach approached him through a summer camp for youth sponsored by the Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth the former coach had founded.
Fisher described physical contact between him and Sandusky, consisting of a hand on his leg in the car which eventually led to him spending nights at the Sandusky home in State College, about 30 miles from his own home in Lock Haven. Kissing and back rubbing during those overnight visits progressed to oral sex. While efforts were reportedly made on Fishers part to distance himself from the predator, he proved to be unsuccessful.
Further reports from ABC News indicate that Fisher was 15 when and his mother eventually reported the abuse to the school principal, who responded that “Jerry has a heart of gold and that he wouldn't do those type of things,” Fisher told ABC, repeating his trial testimony.
“They tell me to go home and think about it,” he told ABC.
In response to the allegations, as well as his recent conviction and sentencing, Sandusky launched an effort to overturn his conviction, contending there wasn't enough evidence against him and the trial wasn't fair.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Sandusky filed a 31-page document Thursday that attacked rulings by the judge, the closing argument by the prosecution and the speed by which he went from arrest to trial.
Sandusky wants the charges tossed out “and/or” a new trial, saying the statute of limitations had run out for many of the 45 counts for which he was convicted in June, the Tribune reports.
“The defendant submits the court's sentence was excessive and tantamount … to a life sentence, which the defendant submits is in violation of his rights,” his lawyers wrote.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the Sandusky filing was under review.
Fisher and seven other young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and oral and anal sex when they were boys.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.