I live in “Happy Valley,” also known as the home of Penn State. As you can imagine, opinions about Joe Paterno’s role in this child rape scandal vary, but everyone can agree that the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky are horrific.
The former assistant coach was arrested on Nov. 5 on 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys.
We haven’t heard Jerry Sandusky’s side until now. Last night the former assistant coach spoke with NBC’s Bob Costas in a phone interview. Their conversation was bewildering, to say the least. The way I see it, he’s pulling a Michael Jackson. His defense in a sentence: he just likes to “horse around with kids.”
Costas asked Sandusky directly about the accusations that he molested children. His response? “I say that I am innocent of those charges.” Pressed further by Bob Costas if he has been “falsely accused in every aspect,” Sandusky wasn’t as certain. “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 legs without intent of sexual contact.”
Showering and the hugging and leg touching. You know, as one does with 10-year-olds.
WHAT? Not even dads shower naked with their ten-year-olds in a “jock context.” It all sounds suspiciously similar to Michael Jackson who, until the day he died, never saw anything wrong with having sleepovers with little boys.
When Costas asked specifically what happened in the shower the night former assistant coach Mike McQueary says he caught Sandusky raping a young boy, he had this to say:
“We were showering and horsing around and he actually turned all of the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were as I recall possibly like slapping a towel,” Sandusky said. When Costas pressed Sandusky as to why McQueary (and a janitor who claims he caught Sandusky and a boy together at a later date) would lie about what they had seen the former coach said: “You’d have to ask them.”
Costas held nothing back, straight up asking Sandusky if he’s attracted to young boys. Sandusky paused for a significant amount of time before saying, “Sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.
I can’t imagine why Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, would think it wise to let his client speak at this juncture. I can only speculate that he feels that the situation can’t get any worse. Amendola, by the way, says he firmly believes in Sandusky’s innocence and would absolutely leave him alone with his own children. “Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid,’’ Amendola said. “He’s a jock, and for anybody who’s ever played sports, you get showers after you work out.’’ Amendola says he believes children will come forward who will back up Sandusky’s innocence. More children are coming forward all right. As the Boston Globe reports, close to 10 additional suspected victims of Sandusky have come forward.
Listening to Sandusky and his slippery fame whore of a lawyer speak made me absolutely sick. Sandusky obviously isn’t dealing from a full deck and, quite honestly, sounds mentally disabled, or mentally ill, at the very least. Everyone involved in this is culpable. From Sandusky to McQueary to Penn State athletic director, Tim Curley, to Chief Executive of Second Mile Foundations, Jack Raykovitz, to Penn State’s VP of business and finance, Gary Schultz, to the president himself, Graham Spanier. All the men — except McQueary — have since resigned or been fired. McQueary is on administrative leave but thousands are calling for his resignation. Which, yes. Shame on him for not already resigning. You witness someone raping a child and don’t punch their teeth out and call police THAT SECOND? Shame.
What a shame on humanity. Here you have at least six grown men who had every moral obligation to do whatever they could to protect children from the very worst and the most any of them ever did was the bare minimum, and, in fact, seemingly had a silent pact to keep quiet. Because although they spoke of the incident to each other, the authorities were never notified, and children continued to be molested.