Aaron Fisher, 1st to accuse Jerry Sandusky of molestation, details coach's abuse - Omaha.com
Published Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:04 am / Updated at 3:12 pm
Aaron Fisher, 1st to accuse Jerry Sandusky of molestation, details coach's abuse

For years he was known only as Victim One.

Now, Aaron Fisher -- the first teenage boy to come forward and accuse Jerry Sandusky of molestation -- is speaking publicly about the infamous Penn State football coach's abuse.

Fisher, his mother and his psychologist appeared at an Omaha conference Tuesday morning to tell their story of years of hidden sexual abuse. During a 90-minute speech, they detailed how Sandusky worked to befriend the Fisher family and countless others, enticing the boy with weekend trips and football tickets and then scaring him into silence.

"Jerry Sandusky wasn't a stranger," said Fisher's mother, Dawn Hennessy. "He was in our house. He had dinner at our house. I played with his dog. We knew him."

Sandusky's abuse of Aaron was followed by equally horrific years during which authorities refused to believe the teenage boy and covered up Sandusky's actions, said Fisher and his psychologist.

Aaron Fisher

They pinpointed specific incidents in which school administrators, police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office refused to believe the teenager and then refused to act even as dozens of other boys came forward.

Sandusky wasn't arrested until three years after Fisher first told psychologist Michael Gillum that Sandusky was sexually abusing him.

During that time, Fisher was repeatedly grilled by investigators, testified before three secret grand juries, was publicly outed as Victim One by his high school's football coach and had to transfer schools to escape the torment of fellow students.

Both Fisher and Gillum received death threats. Fisher contemplated suicide.

"I thought people would believe us," Gillum said. "But people were fighting to the death for (Sandusky). That's what it felt like."

The trio spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of an estimated 500 people attending the Protect Our Children Conference being held this week at the downtown Hilton Hotel.

The conference, which brings together social workers, children's advocates and law enforcement officials from Midwestern states, is being put on by Project Harmony, Children's Hospital and the Office of the U.S. Attorney.

Contact the writer: Matthew Hansen

matthew.hansen@owh.com    |   402-444-1064    |  

Matthew Hansen is a metro columnist who writes roughly three columns a week focusing on all things Omaha.

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