Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has come out in his first public interview since his child abuse sex scandal broke, insisting to NBC’s Bob Costas that he is innocent of the 40-counts of child sexual abuse against him.
The 67-year-old Sandusky said, “I could say that I have done some of those things."
“I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”
Costas asked Sandusky if he was sexually attracted to young boys and Sandusky, who hesitated in his response and repeated the question before responding, “Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. I … but, no, I am not sexually attracted to young boys.”
Of the 2002 incident that just now sparked national outrage at Penn State and led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno and other officials, Sandusky told Costas, “We were showering and horsing around and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel and horseplay.”
Sandusky did admit “in retrospect” that showering with young boys was not proper conduct.
However, Sandusky’s lawyer Joe Amendola insists that the case against his client is hearsay and argues that they anticipate that some of children implicated in the scandal will come forward and say the allegations against Sandusky are not true.
Amendola also held that showering with children does not equate to sexual assault. However, many are skeptical of Sandusky’s claims and believe that his conduct with children was indeed illegal.
Sunny Hostin, a CNN legal analyst, argues that Sandusky committed a crime by showering with children from his charity. She said, “In my mind, that’s already a misdemeanor child sex abuse.”
In a 1987 NBC interview with Sandusky, the Second Mile founder told the news agency, “I enjoy being around kids. I love active kids, I enjoy being around them.”
“I really enjoy the personal contact. I get a lot of personal contact in my life through my family, through our athletes, and through the kids who are involved in the Second Mile. I wouldn’t want to loose that,” he said.