As Jerry Sandusky sits in a Pennsylvania jail cell awaiting sentencing on 45 charges of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, one of his adopted children has come forward to say that he too was abused by the former Penn State football coach. Now 33, Matt Sandusky has told authorities that he was sexually abused between the ages of 8 and 15.
On Tuesday, NBC's "Today" aired a video excerpt of Matt Sandusky's interview with police. In that excerpt, he described showering with the former assistant coach and trying to avoid being molested in bed.
"If you were pretending you were asleep and you were touched or rubbed in some way, you could just act like you were rolling over in your sleep, so that you could change positions," said Matt Sandusky, one of the family's six adopted children.
Previously, the younger Sandusky testified on behalf of his father before the grand jury investigating allegations of child sexual abuse. But last week, while the jury was sequestered and weighing the charges against his father, his lawyers announced that Matt Sandusky had been abused and had talked to investigators about the abuse.
"Although the tape was released without Matt's knowledge or permission, it illustrates that he made the difficult decision to come forward and tell the painful truth to investigators despite extraordinary pressure to support his father, lawyers Justine Andronici and Andrew Shubin wrote in a statement, reported by The Associated Press. The lawyers also represent some of the accusers who testified they were abused by Jerry Sandusky.
Matt Sandusky was not among the eight men who testified at his father's trial that they had been abused as children, though his statements about the past did play a part in the legal decision against allowing Jerry Sandusky to testify on his own behalf. The son would have been available as a rebuttal witness if the ex-coach had taken the stand, defense attorneys have indicated.
According to Matt Sandusky, his relationship with Jerry followed what by now is a familiar pattern, outlined in testimony in the Bellefonte, Pa., courthouse where Sandusky was convicted. The boy met the coach through the Second Mile, a charity Jerry Sandusky founded for disadvantaged youth. Sandusky befriended the boy, bringing him into his home and eventually adopting him as an adult.
In response to questions on the video, Matt Sandusky alleged that Jerry Sandusky would blow raspberries on his stomach and touch his genitals, a description familiar from the two-week trial. Asked if he recalled any sex acts or rapes, Matt Sandusky replied on the tape that "at this point I don't recall that." The younger Sandusky said he was in therapy and that his memories of abuse were only just surfacing.
One of Jerry Sandusky's defense attorneys, Karl Rominger, told the AP that, on the tape, Matt Sandusky makes "allegations that directly contradicts sworn testimony ... directly contradicts police statements he'd given previously, directly contradicts public statements and absolutely contradicts everything his family knows."
Rominger said Jerry Sandusky insists that he is innocent. Sandusky is under observation at the Centre County Jail.
Sandusky, 68, will likely be sentenced in about three months and could spend the rest of his life in prison.
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