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JUN
22
2 YEARS

Jerry Sandusky's Trial: How the Media Is Covering

With no cameras allowed in the courtroom, media outlets continue on with coverage of the former Penn State coach's sexual abuse case as one victim gives an interview to NBC's "Rock Center."

Jerry Sandusky NYT
The New York Times

Media coverage of Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse trial is in full swing despite a big limitation: no cameras in the courtroom.

While networks like HLN relentlessly rolled footage and picked apart every dramatic moment from last year's Casey Anthony case, which had allowed such coverage, the graphic testimonies of alleged Sandusky victims have unfolded in a Pennsylvania court without a single TV camera present.

Instead, coverage from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, as well as the cable news channels, have relied on court reports including courtroom drawings of Sandusky as well as input by legal pundits. Also: in NBC's case, the first interview with an alleged victim of the former Penn State coach, who faces 48 charges of abusing 10 boys over the course of 15 years.

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Travis Weaver, 30, appeared on Thursday's Rock Center With Brian Williams to give disturbing details on an abusive relationship with Sandusky that began when he was 10 years old. Weaver, who met Sandusky through the 68-year-old's one-time summer camp for youth and has since testifed in a grand jury (not the current trial), echoed other court testimonies with recollections of how Sandusky expected the two to take showers together.

"He'd rub my backside," said Weaver, stone-faced. "Sometimes he'd roll over on top of me and blow on my stomach and -- rub my genitals. And -- then it progressed into oral sex."

The Weaver sitdown was shown again Friday on the Today show while rival morning programs also covered the latest news.

The second day of jury deliberations began Friday; on Thursday, Sandusky's 33-year-old adopted son, Matt Sandusky, came forward to claim that he too was abused and was prepared to testify in the trial. (Sandusky's wife, Dottie Sandusky, appeared Tuesday as a witness on the stand to defend her husband from the allegations, painting the accusers as conniving and opportunistic; the defense, in closing arguments, argued that money was a motivation in the case.)

Sandusky faces 48 charges of abusing 10 boys over the course of 15 years. In November, NBC's Bob Costas snagged the first interview with Sandusky, which backfired on the coach as he fumbled attempting to explain his relationships with young boys.

"I would — I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward," he said. Many more young people who would come forward and say that my methods and — and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life. And I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped."

Later, in December, Sandusky sat down with the New York Times, which shot video of the interview, in which he again denied his accusers' claims of molestation. His lawyer, Joe Amendola, was present at the time.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com