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Sandusky 'Rock Center' interview provides rare look at former coach's view

Rock Center

Jerry Sandusky’s defense team rested their case today without calling the former Penn State assistant football coach to the stand. Rock Center’s interview with Sandusky, conducted just days after he was arrested and charged with crimes related to his alleged sexual abuse of multiple boys, remains one of the rare times he has addressed the allegations directly.

“I say that I am innocent of those charges,” said Sandusky in the Nov. 14, 2011 phone interview with NBC Sports’ Bob Costas.

Sandusky, 68, is facing 51 counts related to his alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years.  In his interview with Costas, Sandusky addressed many of the allegations that have been the subject of testimony throughout the trial.  Sandusky admitted to horsing around and showering with young boys, many of whom he met through the charity he founded, Second Mile. 


Sandusky on his physical contact with young boys

“Well I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things.  I have horsed around with kids.  I have showered after workouts.  I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact,” he said.

Eight of Sandusky’s 10 alleged victims have taken the witness stand. They have emotionally described moments they say they were groped and kissed by Sandusky.  Some said they were raped by Sandusky. 

In his interview with Costas, Sandusky pointed to his charity work repeatedly throughout the interview to show how he has helped children.

“I’m a very passionate person and in terms of trying to make a difference in the lives of some young people, I have worked very hard to try to connect with them, to make them feel good about themselves, to be something significant in their lives and maybe this gets misinterpreted, has gotten depending on, I know a lot of young people where it hasn’t. I have worked with many, many young people where there has been no misinterpretation of my actions and I have made a very significant difference in their lives,” Sandusky said.

When Costas asked, “It’s entirely possible you could have helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable while horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E, isn’t that possible?”

Sandusky responded, “Well, you might think that.  I don’t know and in terms of, uh, um, my relationship with so many, many young people um, I would, I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward, many more young people who would come forward and say that my methods and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life and I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped. There are many that I didn’t have, I hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.”

Sandusky on the incident witnessed by Mike McQueary

Sandusky took a pause before responding to a question about whether he was sexually attracted to young boys.

“Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?” Sandusky said.  “Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. I, but no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”

Sandusky described his interaction with a young boy in a shower in the Penn State locker room as “horseplay.” Former Assistant Football Coach Mike McQueary described the incident during his testimony last week.  When asked whether he believed Sandusky was engaging in anal sex with the boy, McQueary said, “ I thought I saw that, yes.  No doubt about that.”

In his interview with Costas, Sandusky said, “We were showering and horsing around and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel, horseplay.”

When asked by Costas if there was anything he wished he had not done, Sandusky said, ‘Well, in retrospect, I, you know, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”

The case is expected to go to the jury this week. 

Editor's Note: Rock Center with Brian Williams will have the latest on the Sandusky trial on Thursday, June 21 at 10pm/9 c.