The Penn State child sex abuse scandal keeps growing and changing as the days go by. CNN is reporting that 10 additional victims have come forward, bringing the number of alleged victims to 19.
Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with 40 counts of child sexual abuse, spoke out for the first time on Monday night to NBC's Bob Costas. When asked if he had ever molested boys he replied, "no."
On the question of whether he was a pedophile, sexually attracted to boys, Sandusky paused before repeating the question, then said, "Am I attracted to boys--I love young people, love being around them, I love spending time with them-I enjoy them but I am not attracted to boys, no."
He explained that he did some of the things he was accused of--like showering with boys, horsing around, flipping towels--hugged them but "without any sexual intention." He also admitted regret for showering with boys.
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11.14.11} Ex Penn State coach arrested and charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, spoke out for the first time on Monday night saying he was innocent of the charges.
Heard on MSNBC in his first interview with host Bob Costas, Jerry Sandusky denied the child sex abuse allegations. When host Costas said to him "where there is this much smoke there must be some fire"--then asked him if he was absolutely innocent of all the charges against him and Sandusky said, "I am innocent."
Costas asked him if he was a pedophile to which Sandusky answered, "no." On the question of whether he molested boys, the ex-Penn State coach paused then repeated the question, "did I molest boys" twice then said, "I may have done some of the things--horsed around with kids, showered after workouts, touched a leg but not with any sexual intension-- I hugged kids but I never touched inappropriately," adding that he "shouldn't have showered with those kids."
The 67-year-old Sandusky, who worked at the university for decades and is accused of molesting nine boys, was arrested and charged with 40 criminal counts including indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, deviant sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child among others. Oral and anal sex are also part of the allegations, as well as shower incidents.
This shocker ricocheted around the University, resulting in the abrupt firing of head coachand President Graham Spanier last Wednesday night.
In a press conference on Friday, Interim President Rodney Erickson tried to do damage control, saying, "Healings cannot occur until we understand how we failed our responsibilities" and working towards "getting back to 150 years of core values."
Students meanwhile, showed their anger at Paterno's firing by rioting outside the university last Wednesday night. Penn State's game against Nebraska went on as usual on Sunday, and there's not been much public display of what the school is doing about the alleged travesty that festered behind their walls of higher learning for over 14 years.
Coach Mike McQueary, who allegedly saw Sandusky raping a boy in the shower at Penn State, was not fired with Paterno. Both were obligated by law as educators, to report the alleged sexual abuse. He has since departed on administrative leave because of the mulititude of death threats against him.
The sick saga gets even more twisted. The judge, Leslie Dutchcot, who granted Sandusky an unsecured $100,000 bail, was allegedly a volunteer at his non-profit organisation Second Mile and many critics are crying conflict of interest. Sandusky started Second Mile in 1977 to help at risk kids.
Second Mile president Jack Raykovitz has since resigned.
The fact that Sandusky's lawyer allowed him to be interviewed must mean they are trying to use the public, but I think it will backfire. The public has a low tolerance and zero sympathy for pedophiles. But then again, if the Vatican could get away with it for this long, Sandusky must think a coach like him--who has pope status in college football -- might garner some of those Catholic priests' luck.
He is facing a sentence of 400 years or more if convicted on all 40 counts of criminal acts and may be grasping at whatever straws he can grab on to.