Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky gave his first extensive interview since being charged with sexual abuse, and in addition to denying he had never sexually abused young boys, he told The New York Times that former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno never confronted him about allegations of misconduct.
Paterno was informed in 2002 of an alleged sexual assault by Sandusky on a young boy in the showers of Penn State's football building. Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant, told Paterno of the incident, and Paterno informed athletic director Tim Curley. Although Paterno faces no legal repercussions in the state's case against Sandusky, he received criticism for not doing more, which led to his firing from Penn State last month.
From The New York Times story:
Mr. Sandusky said the two never spoke about any incidents, not the episode in 2002 or an earlier complaint of child molestation made against Mr. Sandusky in 1998 that was investigated by the Penn State campus police.
"I never talked to him about either one,” Mr. Sandusky said of Mr. Paterno. "That's all I can say. I mean, I don’t know."
Mr. Paterno, through his son, Scott, has denied knowing about the 1998 investigation at the time it happened.
"He's the only one who knows whether anybody ever said anything to him," Mr. Sandusky said of Mr. Paterno.
Keep in mind these are Sandusky's comments, and Paterno has kept quiet, on the advice of his lawyer, about what he knew, what he didn't know, who he told, who he confronted, etc. We have yet to hear Paterno's side of the story.
Asked about the fallout for Paterno and Penn State from his indictment, Sandusky told The Times he didn't think it was fair.
Other notes from the interview.
"They've taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever," Mr. Sandusky said. He added: "I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all."
Asked directly why he appeared to interact with children who were not his own without many of the typical safeguards other adults might apply -- showering with them, sleeping alone with them in hotel rooms, blowing on their stomachs -- he essentially said that he saw those children as his own.
[Sandusky] said that his relationships and activities with Second Mile children did cause some strain with Mr. Paterno, but only in that Mr. Sandusky worried that having some of the children with him at hotels before games, or on the sideline during games, risked being seen as a distraction by the demanding Mr. Paterno.
In 1998, the mother of a child reported concerns to the Penn State campus police when she learned her son had showered with Mr. Sandusky at the university. After an investigation, Mr. Sandusky admitted to the police and child welfare authorities that he had most likely done something inappropriate, according to prosecutors. The local district attorney declined to prosecute. In the interview this week, Mr. Sandusky said the boy and his mother remained a part of his life for years. He said that the mother had sought him out for tickets to Penn State games for her son, and that Mr. Sandusky had contributed financially years later, when the young man, interested in the ministry, went on a mission.