Aaron Fisher will never again be known as the person referred to as “Victim 1.”
After months of statements made through attorneys and blacked out faces in national newspapers, the 18-year-old man, who was the first to accuse Jerry Sandusky of sexually abusing him, revealed his identity on ABC’s “20/20” Friday night.
Fisher’s testimony was key in Sandusky’s conviction in late June, when the former assistant Penn State football coach was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison earlier this month.
“I wasn't expecting it,” Fisher said in the television interview. “I was kind of thinking that he'd get off scot-free with this.”
Fisher’s life changed when he was invited to join The Second Mile - the charity Sandusky founded to help young, at risk kids - in 2004 when Fisher was 10-years old.
From the start, Sandusky provided Fisher with gifts, taking him to professional and collegiate sporting events.
Fisher’s mom, Dawn Daniels, said she thought Sandusky was believed in her son’s athletic and “bright future.”
“Everybody knew who he was,” said Daniels. “He's a great guy. Everybody, even my own father, said he does great things for kids.”
When Fisher tried to tell school administrators, like his principal, what was really going on between the assistant coach and himself, he broke down in her office, crying while recounting the abuse.
Instead of helping, Daniels said they were advised to reconsider approaching police about the abuse, due to Sandusky’s prestige in the community.
Randy Feathers, the lead investigator in the Sandusky case when Fisher first reported the abuse, said they needed more people to come forward in order to charge Sandusky. Feathers said he “would have put handcuffs on him myself” if they had enough evidence to charge Sandusky the first day.
As for the actions Sandusky may have committed while the investigation continued, Feathers said he can not be sure.
“It’s not a perfect world," he said. “We did the best we could.”
Today, Fisher said it is still hard for him deal with the repercussions of coming forward. The speech that Sandusky gave at his sentencing last week was directed toward his actions and his initial coming forward, Fisher said
But for the 18-year-old man, life will continue to move on. Fisher said he hopes to one day attend college and move on with his life. He said he wants to be a state trooper so he can protect people.
“If you are persistent and you continue to fight for what you know is right and what you absolutely think and know is right, then good will prevail and you will get justice out of it,” Fisher said.
Fisher will publish his book “Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight For Justice Against Jerry Sandusky “ Oct. 23, detailing the abuse he experienced from Sandusky.
Read Monday’s edition of The Daily Collegian for more details