BELLEFONTE - Agent Anthony Sassano of the state Attorney General's Office explained from the witness stand Thursday that the case against Jerry Sandusky was built piece by piece and name by name.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina displayed one piece of evidence after another to try and show Sandusky's guilt.
It took knocking on doors, search warrants, subpoenas and old-fashioned police work by the Attorney General's Office and state police to find the victims and gather evidence to support their claims, Sassano said.
It even involved pouring over 20 issues of TV Guide so prosecutors could pin down the exact date, Feb. 9, 2001, when former wide receivers coach Mike McQueary claimed he witnessed Sandusky in an "extremely sexual" position with a young boy in a Penn State locker room shower.
Documents seized from Sandusky's house and shown in court Thursday showed typed lists of names from The Second Mile's boys' summer camps.
Some names, including those of alleged victims in the case, had handwritten asterisks, or stars, next to them, Sassano testified. Others had handwritten lists in the corners, with boys' names followed by their clothes and shoe sizes. Some notation in a margin of a camp roster was simply a phone number with the child's mother's name next to it.
There were albums of pictures with Sandusky with young boys, including the victims, hanging out with a smiling coach. One of the alleged victims who testified was seen in shots, taken by the former Penn State defensive coordinator, competing in school sports events.
To track down the janitors who might have witnessed something at the Lasch Football Building, such as Ronald Petrosky, who testified on Wednesday that another co-worker told him he saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in a locker room shower, investigators subpoenaed Penn State records.
Other records, such as the football program's itineraries, showed alleged Victim 4 had traveled with the team to the 1998 Outback Bowl in Florida and 1999 Alamo Bowl in Texas, Sassano testified.
"Penn State, to be quite frank, was not quick in getting us our information," Sassano said
Between 18 and 20 boxes of material abandoned by Sandusky at his Penn State office several years ago and stowed away in a Penn State storage room held more pictures, files and evidence connecting Sandusky to the details in victim's stories, Sassano said.
"Seems like there an awful lot of documents concerning [Victim 4]," Sassano said.
Unsent letters to alleged Victim 4 were also uncovered at Sandusky's College Township home, Sassano testified.
Letters allegedly sent to the boy from Sandusky were shown in court on Monday and the unsent missives touched on similar themes: Sandusky's longing for the boy to once again be his friend, even using the term "best friend" in one.
"For Jer, it has been a dark cloud," Sandusky allegedly wrote in one of the letters because the boy was pulling away from him. "Jer would love to have the good times back."
In one letter, Sandusky urged alleged Victim 4 to sign a contract Sandusky had drafted under the false auspices of The Second Mile that supposedly was to pay the boy money in exchange for spending time with him, Sassano pointed out.
An unsigned copy of that contract found at Sandusky's house was also shown.
Earlier in the week, during alleged Victim 4's testimony, a signed version of the contract was shown to the jury. Sassano said the amount of money the boy would get for spending time with Sandusky was larger on the signed copier than the earlier, unsigned version, with the amount going from $26 a week to $60 a week.
With McQueary's story that he was watching the film "Rudy" on a cable network the Friday night in either February or March 2001 or 2002 before he decided to go into the Lasch Building to do some work, Sassano said he turned to TV Guide to narrow down the time frame.
The movie only appeared once, on TBS at 9:05 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 9, 2001, when he looked through issues, 20 in all, from the months of February and March 2001 and 2002, he said.
To further nail down when McQueary allegedly witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting alleged Victim 2, who has never come forward or been identified, investigators turned to McQueary family friend Dr. Jonathan Dranov, Sassano said.
Dranov, who remembered he traveled to Boston, the day after McQueary told his father and Dranov of what he saw. Records showed that Dranov attended a conference there on Feb. 12, 2001, Sassano said.
The investigation began in earnest six months after the December 2008 revelation by a Clinton County boy, dubbed Victim 1 by prosecutors, that Sandusky had molested him, Sassano said.
Finding other alleged victims was difficult.
"It was a daunting task to get other victims to come forward," Sassano, a former Altoona police officer, told the jury.
Being a victim of sexual abuse isn't an easy thing to admit and getting names of potential victims was hard, he said.
"It's not something people want to talk about," Sassano said.
Still, investigators believed that sexual abuse at the hands of Sandusky "had been going on for a long period of time" and the investigation "remained very secretive," the agent said.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.