STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It was long after former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been arrested, tried and convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys before his wife said she realized just how much trouble he was in.
In an interview last week at her home in State College, Dottie Sandusky said she still had hope even after his 45-count guilty verdict. But when the judge handed down a 30- to 60-year prison term, she said she fully comprehended his predicament.
"I think it was at the sentencing," she said during a 90-minute interview at her dining room table. "I mean, I really and truly believe, I believe in, when you tell the truth and who you are, that things work out."
Jerry Sandusky, 70, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing boys over 15 years but maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals. The scandal brought down the Penn State president and storied head coach Joe Paterno and eventually led the school to pay nearly $60 million to settle civil claims. Three former Penn State administrators await trial on charges they covered up allegations against Sandusky.
In recent weeks, Dottie Sandusky has been granting interviews, arguing her husband's conviction was unjust and claiming the accusers who testified against him told inaccurate stories to cash in. An attorney for one of the accusers calls her denials "obscene."
Speaking with the Associated Press, she said her husband had informed her when complaints were made against him regarding showering with boys in 1998 and 2001.
Those complaints didn't seem to worry Jerry Sandusky, she said, even though one spawned an investigation by police and child protective services and the other resulted in a restriction against him bringing children into Penn State facilities.
"He didn't think a thing about it," she said.
She said Jerry Sandusky also told her promptly about an investigation, which began in late 2008, into his contact with a boy at a high school in central Pennsylvania that forced him to hire a lawyer and led to the filing of criminal charges.
"Jerry said when it first started it was really nothing," she said.
In the interview, Dottie Sandusky repeatedly turned her focus to the eight young men who testified against him and the couple dozen others who have contacted Penn State with abuse claims.
"I know who he is, and I know what he is, and people need to look into some of the other situations," she said.
Cliff Rieders, a Williamsport attorney who represents one of the accusers, said he viewed the interviews being given by Dottie Sandusky as an effort to influence public opinion and possibly help his appeal.