LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) — A small group of people rallied on Saturday to show support for a man whose sexual-abuse claims triggered the investigation of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The 18-year-old accuser, Aaron Fisher, and his mother, Dawn Daniels, addressed a crowd of about 30 supporters outside his former high school in Mill Hall. Both called on school officials and other people in the community to listen to children who make allegations of abuse.
Fisher, who went public earlier this month after being known for more than a year only as Victim 1 in court papers, complained about the way he was treated at the school after telling school officials he had been abused. He said he was “bullied, not believed and not taken seriously.”
“They make a kid feel worse if they tell,” he said. “I’m here to say that kids always need to tell.”
School officials reported Sandusky to Clinton Country Children and Youth Services, which triggered the criminal investigation into Sandusky.
Those attending the rally wore ribbons to signify child abuse and bullying prevention, and some wore blue T-shirts that read, “We support Aaron and the Victims.”
Fisher, who last week released a book he co-authored with his mother, “Silent No More,” also testified at a trial in which Sandusky, 68, was convicted of multiple counts of abuse and was sentenced to decades in prison. Sandusky maintains his innocence.
Two classmates and friends of Fisher who attended the rally said they saw him bullied in high school. Dillian Green, 18, of Lock Haven, said after word spread that Fisher might be Victim 1, students accused him of inventing stories of abuse.
“I’m proud of him for doing what he did and standing up,” Green said.
The Associated Press doesn’t normally publish the names of accusers in sexual-assault cases unless they agree to be named or identify themselves publicly, as Fisher has done.
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