Jerry Sandusky wanted to set the record straight in an exclusive interview with The New York Times.
I'm not the monster everyone made me out to be, he said.
It was Sandusky's first on-camera interview since the man at the center of the Pennsylvania State University child sex-abuse scandal was charged with molesting eight boys over the course of 15 years, with more incidents reportedly under investigation. Due in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 13, he apparently figured via advice from legal counsel, one can suppose, that facing the public with the interview might be his best defense.
These allegations are false, Sandusky told the Times in the taped interview. I didn't do those things. I didn't engage in sexual acts.
In attempting to clear his own name, however, Sandusky perhaps indicted his longtime boss Joe Paterno -- at least from a moral perspective. Sandusky said Paterno never talked with him about alleged incidents of abuse with minors despite the fact that Paterno acknowledged to a grand jury that years ago an assistant coach approached him with serious concerns.
Paterno, Penn State's head football coach at the time, turned the information over to the school's athletics director, but Sandusky said Paterno never questioned him about the information.
I don't know that he didn't know. I know that he never said anything to me, I know that, Sandusky said.
The Times' taped interview is both fine journalism and revealing information, considering that Sandusky's words say one thing, but his demeanor appears to say another. He often looks away from the camera, and he seems at times to shuffle along, without a sense of urgency. Sandusky says he is innocent, yet he hardly seems outraged that he has been charged by authorities and effectively lynched in public.
When asked about his poor response in a previous audio interview with Bob Costas, in which he bumbled through an answer when questioned directly whether he is sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky told the Times: I was sitting there like, 'What in the world is this question?' am I going to be, if I say, 'No I'm not attracted to boys,' that's not the truth because I'm attracted to young people -- boys, girls.
I enjoy spending time with young people. I enjoy spending time with people. I mean, my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young, he said. The young because they don't think about what they say and the old because they don't care, you know?
By the end of the interview, Sandusky had spoken a lot about what he isn't, and what he didn't do. He said he is not the monster everyone has made him out to be. He said he didn't engage in sexual acts as charged. He said he misses working with young people. But he didn't appear or sound convincing that he's been wrongly charged.
If anything, he looked and sounded like a guilty man who just wants it all to go away.