Defiant Jerry Sandusky speaks from prison and still insists he’s innocent

Jerry Sandusky leaves a Pennsylvania courthouse in in 2012. (Patrick Smith/Getty)
Jerry Sandusky leaves a Pennsylvania courthouse in in 2012. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

Disgraced former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky insisted he was innocent in an interview from prison more than 10 years after he was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.

The 80-year-old spoke to the Daily Mail from Laurel Highlands State Correctional Institution, claiming, “I never ever in my life ever thought about molesting anybody.”

“I was accused of heinous crimes, which I’ve never committed. My wife was my only partner in sex and that was after marriage,” he said.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year span from 1994 to 2009. He found his victims through his charity, The Second Mile, which was supposed to be dedicated to helping at-risk children.

The assistant football coach turned convicted felon told the Mail: “I believe I was wrongfully convicted by inconsistent, perjured testimony.” He wondered aloud how his accusers were “saying things that were so inconsistent with what they had said before?”

A defiant Sandusky then suggested — without evidence — that his accusers were manipulated, calling them “vulnerable and susceptible” people who were “incentivized” by money. He also claimed that his accusers were “coached and led” by law enforcement and two therapists, blaming them for what he called “inconsistent testimony.”

Horrific details of the abuse emerged during Sandusky’s trial, when victims and others who had witnessed the encounters testified before a jury about what they’d endured as children.

One victim testified that he screamed as he was attacked by Sandusky in the basement of his home — a claim that the former coach’s wife, Dottie, has denied. Another victim described “creepy love letters” sent by Sandusky after he abused him as a young teen. One testified about “cuddling” and showers with the Penn State coach, who also gave him tickets to the games from 1995-2009. Lawyers for yet another victim, who was 10 when he met Sandusky through The Second Mile charity, said the ex-coach sexually abused him “over one hundred times.”

Nearly a year after the conviction, Penn State announced it would pay a total of $60 million to settle the claims of Sandusky’s 26 victims.

Sandusky, who waived his right to testify in 2012, says he was improperly represented by his defense
Sandusky, who waived his right to testify in 2012, says he was improperly represented by his defense

Matt Sandusky, the coach’s adoptive son, was one of the victims who reached a settlement with the university. During the course of the trial, Sandusky’s son Matt claimed that he too was sexually abused by his adoptive father.

Matt Sandusky told ABC4 in 2019: “This was the biggest secret that I had kept for 33 years of my life. I didn’t want one single person knowing.”

The convicted felon described his son to the Daily Mail as “troubled.” He added that he “made a mistake with” Matt, explaining: “I said something about one of the accusers changing his story, and he asked me why.”

“I told him that I believe it was because [that accuser] went to Andrew Shubin, a civil lawyer, with problems and then it got twisted, and turned and that changed his whole story. I didn’t really know,” he continued. Sandusky claimed that his son was “really shocked by it.”

He added that Matt “brought his kids to live with us, he pleaded with the court when I was on house arrest and to have his kids be able to visit.”

Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, has stuck by his side, even after the guilty verdict. The Mail reported that Dottie visits the convicted felon once a week in prison — traveling three hours for the visit. She speaks to him over the phone every day and has scheduled Zoom sessions with him.

“It’s only by the grace of God that we can get through what we have,” she told the outlet. “I know who Jerry is. I never saw anything, and I was here. If Jerry had done these things, I would have told somebody I wouldn’t have stayed with him,” Dottie said.

“He’s that kind of a person. I mean, if he messes up or does something wrong, he’ll tell you he has and he’s sorry,” she claimed.

Dottie echoed some of her husband’s complaints about his accusers: “’I don’t know how you can’t say that there is something wrong here, when the troopers and all the kids lied. There should at least be a retrial.”

“I can’t understand it and I don’t have any faith any more in this system. I used to, and I used to have faith in the police,” she continued. “But now I don’t know what I’d do if I was really in need of something. It would scare me.”