An Expert Looks Into Mind Of A Child Abuser

By Patrick Perion (CBS News)
June 15, 2012

(Editor's Note: Patrick has been a child abuse investigator since 1994 and has interviewed thousands of children about child abuse, child sexual abuse and neglect. He will weigh in with his thoughts as a special 670TheScore.com contributor throughout the Jerry Sandusky Trial. Patrick is otherwise known as "Quad City Pat", a frequent caller to the Boers & Bernstein Show.)

Thursday marked the end of the prosecutions case, although they did not formally rest. It was a day of intense and unsettling testimony. It had many people who are following this case wondering how to just make all of this stop.

Victim 9 testified. It was compelling, and as predicted, the final witness was as strong as the first witness, Victim 4. Sources in the courtroom reported this from Victim 9: "What was I going to do? I mean, look at him, he's a big guy. He was bigger than me, at the time way bigger than me."

This came after tearful descriptions of his abuse both orally and anally by Sandusky. Victim 9 said he weighed less than 70 pounds at the time.

"There was no fighting against it," he said. "Sometimes (I'd) scream, sometimes tell him to get off me, but other than that, who was there? We were in the basement, no one could hear you down there. We were always down there."

Frankly, as disgusting and tragic as the testimony was, it was probably the best thing the prosecutor did in a week full of good things. These are the lasting memories that the jury will have while watching the defense try to mount a case. The prosecution is banking on the fact that the testimony of these victims is so overwhelming that the jury will convict Sandusky to make it stop.

Sandusky's defense attorney, Joe Amendola, is putting on a defense next week. His job is to rehab his client's character. We can expect a stream of tearful family and friends telling the jury what a great guy Jerry is. People like Joyce Porter, who told Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, "he's a saint, a wonderful guy." This was troubling to a lot of people. What most people don't understand is that to people like Joyce, Sandusky is a wonderful guy.

Serial child sexual abusers are most often "wonderful" guys. They are charming, smart and friendly. They lure their victims with charm. Think of it like this, if you've got a significant other, did you woo them with charm, humor and kindness? For most of us, the answer is yes. Serial child sexual abusers use the same tools. Once they have their prey, its about power and control, but the chase is the thing for a lot of these guys. The charm they use on their victims is also employed in their daily life, making them seem like great guys to their friends and community.

This brings me to my final point, one which frankly may be off-putting for a lot of people. Today there was speculation about why Sandusky has not taken a plea, why he's put these men and the rest of us through this.

I've seen this before and I can't say with 100 percent certainty about Sandusky, but a lot of serial child sexual abusers like to relive their old conquests. I have been to trials in which the defendant has become tumescent during testimony. I've helped law enforcement get a confession here and there because while questioning the perp, he started rubbing his hand on the table or his leg in the same fashion he abused his victim.

While the rest of the world is done with this entire mess, Sandusky has no desire to 'just make it stop.'

Patrick is a 1990 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport IA. He's been working in child welfare since 1988. Since 1994, he has been a child abuse investigator and has interviewed thousands of children about child abuse, child sexual abuse and neglect. He was certified in forensic interviewing of child sexual abuse victims in 1999 and received an advanced certification in 2001. He's also been a trainer of forensic interviewing for child welfare professionals and law enforcement officials. On a personal note, he out kicked his coverage in marrying his wife Nicole and he has two wonderful daughters.