Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sandusky's wife: Victims were motivated by money

NEW YORK — The wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says she "definitely" believes her husband is innocent despite being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and that the victims' financial gain was at play.

Dottie Sandusky said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on NBC's Today show that "there was nothing that went on because I was here" in the couple's small home in State College, Pa., where some of the victims reported being abused in the basement.

Although one accuser said his muffled screams went unheard by her upstairs, Sandusky heard nothing "because he didn't scream," she said after giving interviewer Matt Lauer a tour of the house. "It's not a dungeon," she noted of the basement.

She denied any suggestion that she was a "weak spouse" who enabled her husband and said she believes his accusers had been manipulated.

"I think it was, they were manipulated, and they saw money," she said. "Once lawyers came into the case, they said there was money."

She said in the interview recorded Monday that she believed that her husband showered with children but "that's the generation that Jerry grew up in."

She insisted the inappropriate behavior went no further: "I definitely believe him. Because if I didn't believe him, when I testified at trial, I could have not said what I said. I would have had to tell the truth."

Sandusky, who testified for about 40 minutes during her husband's 2012 trial, also disputed a police investigator's account of a statement by her husband following a 1998 complaint by a mother who said Jerry Sandusky had showered with her son.

He "would not say, 'I wish I was dead,'" Dottie Sandusky said.

She was joined in the interviewed by filmmaker John Ziegler, who is working on a documentary in defense of the late Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky's longtime boss.

Jerry Sandusky, who is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence, insists he is innocent and has appealed his conviction to the state Supreme Court.

Dottie Sandusky said she visits her husband once a week in his southwestern Pennsylvania prison but is allowed no physical contact.

"We talk about what's been going on with the family, we talk about things with the case, how things have been going for him," she said. Confined to his cell for 23 hours a day, he reads, meditates, writes and has a television, "which is a lifesaver for him," she said.

She began to cry while saying the case has been "really rough" on her family.

"Some of our grandchildren are old enough that they know what's been going on, and they've been told what's been going on," she said. "They know who their pop is and what he was."

Many friends have stood by the couple, but lawyers have told others to keep their distance, she said.

Sandusky broke down again when asked what her husband misses most, finally replying, "Family meals, the fun times with the grandkids, playing ball, doing special things with friends."

"He said, 'I guess I took those too for granted,'" she said.

But Sandusky said many people may find it hard to believe that her husband has maintained a positive attitude.

"Jerry's still a happy person, and he smiles, and he tries to make people laugh, and he said, 'I'm in the situation I'm in and I'm going to make the best I can out of it.' "

Sandusky's wife: Victims were motivated by money 03/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102