Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach whose molestation scandal has shocked the nation, admitted in an interview Monday that he had showered with pre-teen boys, but he insisted he was not a pedophile.
In a telephone interview with NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator, acknowledged that some details contained in the 23-page indictment released by the Pennsylvania grand jury were true.
I could say I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact, he said.
Sandusky, 67, was indicted Saturday on 40 counts of sexually abusing at least eight young boys over 15 years.
Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant, reportedly witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State showers in 2002. In the interview, Sandusky completely denied it. He said that he had not been assaulting that boy. Instead, they had been in the shower, snapping towels and engaging in horseplay, he claimed. He said he was innocent and had been falsely accused.
Asked if he had done anything wrong, he said: I shouldn't have showered with those kids.
Sandusky was also asked whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys, to which he replied, Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys.
Asked whether head football coach Joe Paterno had ever spoken to him about his alleged sexual behavior towards boys or expressed disapproval, he simply said, No.
Asked whether he felt guilty about the scandal that has rocked penn State and cost Paterno his job, he replied, I don't think it was my fault. I obviously played a part in this ... I shouldn't have showered with those kids. That's what hits me the most.
Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola Monday told CNN that Sandusky's showering with children did not imply sexual assault. Jerry Sandusky is a big, overgrown kid. He's a jock. The bottom line is jocks do that -- they kid around, they horse around, he said.
Amendola also said that his client had been destroyed by the child abuse charges and bricks had been thrown on his home. We have an answer for every allegation, he asserted.
After the release of grand jury report, Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5. The 23-page report details alleged crimes committed between 1994 and 2009. He is currently out of jail on a $100,000 bond.