Matthew Sandusky will reveal to the public for the very first time how his adoptive father, Penn State University coach and convicted felon Jerry Sandusky, sexually abused him throughout his childhood in what could be one of the most explosive and emotionally-charged interviews aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
"In his first television interview since the 2012 conviction of Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, Matthew reveals never-before-heard details of the sexual abuse he experienced as a child at the hands of his adopted father, and why he is choosing to speak out now," according to a press release on the special "Oprah Prime" interview.
While Matthew was not one of the 10 male victims included in the criminal case, he was among 26 victims eventually awarded a financial settlement. Penn State University paid Jerry Sandusky's victims a total of $59.7 million due to the credibility of their accounts of abuse.
In his interview with Winfrey, Matthew reveals how his father groomed, controlled and manipulated him. He also responds to accusations from his adoptive mother, Dorothy "Dottie" Sandusky, who spoke defensively of her husband throughout the trial. Mrs. Sandusky has accused her son of being a liar and a thief, and insisted she never witnessed any abuse in their home. Her husband had assaulted at least two of his victims in a basement bedroom in their home during his documented near 20-year rampage against young boys.
It was revealed during the 2011-2012 case that Jerry Sandusky netted many of his victims, as young as 7 or 8, through his group foster home for troubled boys, The Second Mile, which he later turned into a nonprofit to help children with absent parents or dysfunctional home lives. It was through the now-shuttered organization that the 8-year-old foster child, Matthew Heichel (Sandusky), met Jerry Sandusky. The Penn State coach took an avid interest in the young boy, often taking him on outings and to the university's athletic facilities, where Jerry Sandusky abused some of his child victims. Matthew eventually moved in with the Sanduskys in 1995, and the foster child was officially adopted by Jerry and Dottie Sandusky when he was 18.
Matthew, who initially came to his adoptive father's defense, did an about face during the trial and told police officers that he was sexually molested by Jerry Sandusky between the ages of 8 and 15. Matthew, who filed court papers in 2013 to have his last name changed, was one of six children adopted by the Sanduskys.
To this day, Mrs. Sandusky remains steadfast and indignant that her husband is innocent, saying in a March 2014 interview that his victims were greedy for money and manipulated by lawyers handling the case.
Jerry Sandusky, 70, was sentenced on Oct. 9, 2012, to serve 30-60 years in prison. The former Penn State coach's appeal was denied on April 2 by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Both he and his wife were longtime members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, where pastor Ed Zeiders encouraged congregants during a sermon to "pray for all of those who are victims and all of those who are predators."
Matthew, now 35, has founded an organization that helps child abuse victims, which the married father of four also discusses in his OWN interview. His "Oprah Prime" interview airs Thursday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.