PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Testimony has begun in the sexual abuse trial of former Pittsburgh School Police officer Robert Lellock.
He is accused of molesting young boys when they were students at Arthur J. Rooney Middle School in Brighton Heights beginning in the late 1990s.
Prosecutor Patrick Schulte told the jury, “Child molesters come in all shapes and sizes. In this case, the child molester had a uniform and a badge. He used his uniform, handcuffs and badge to intimidate, threaten and blackmail his victims.”
But defense attorney Timothy Kidd implied that those who have come forward were inspired by the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State.
“The first allegation came many years later, within a month of what went on in Happy Valley,” Kidd told the jury. “They have filed civil lawsuits. They have a financial motive in this case.”
Lellock was arrested in September of 2012.
The alleged victim on the stand today is now 28 years old and says his encounter with Robert Lellock began in 1998 when he visited the middle school on his own just to see what it was like before classes began in the fall.
But he says Lellock invited him to take a tour and before long noticed the boy had some stolen credit cards, then molested him, blackmailing him with the stolen cards.
Then once school began, he says Lellock would take him to a janitors closet and molest him in various ways.
The threat of what he knew always angling over the boy’s head.
“‘You know I cut you a break,’” he said, allegedly quoting Lellock at the time. “I caught you with the credit cards. You could have gone to jail. He grabbed my nipples and squeezed my nipples. He had me lift up my shirt. It made me feel scared cause I knew what he was doing wasn’t normal and wasn’t right.”
“He would take me out of class,” he continues. “He would unzip his pants — I didn’t understand why he was making me do this. I was confused.”
The encounters only stopped when the boy was expelled from school. He has had a number of run-ins with the law.
“I got expelled because I brought a knife to school,” he said. “I had thoughts of stabbing him. He always whispered in my ear if I ever told anybody he would kill me and my family.”
His cross examination by the defense continues tomorrow.
Stay with KDKA for Harold Hayes’ full reports on this trial.