The wife of Jerry Sandusky – the former Penn State football coach convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys – gave a televised interview to Matt Lauer of the 'Today' show from her home in State College, Pa., and said her husband is innocent.
Dottie Sandusky said she believes her husband's victims were coerced.
"I think they were manipulated and they saw money," she said. "And once lawyers came into the case they said there was money."
Lauer addressed Sandusky’s steadfast loyalty to her husband and said that some might view her as complicit in the abuse because of it. But she told Lauer that she was “not a weak spouse,” and that if she honestly believed her husband was guilty she would have been obligated to testify against him in court. "As you know, they called me 'Sarge' because Jerry said I kept everybody in line," she said. "If they want to say that, let them say that."
When asked whether or not she believed her husband was ever inappropriate with some of the boys who accused him of sexual abuse, Sandusky responded that she did not: "I believe he showered with kids," she said. "That's the generation that Jerry grew up in.”
Sandusky also reported on her husband’s condition at the maximum security prison where he now resides. She told Lauer she continues to see him once every week and that he remains a “happy person” despite everything.
"He smiles and tries to make people laugh." Sandusky said. "He says, 'I'm in the situation I am in and I am going to try to make the best I can of it.'"
She said her husband misses his family and friends.
"A friend had written to him and asked him what he missed – what did he take most for granted – and he said family meals, fun time with the grandkids playing ball, (and) doing special things with friends,'' Sandusky said.
As of October, Penn State said it had paid a total of $60 million in settlements to 26 different men because of the scandal, Reuters reported. One settlement payment was made to Sandusky's adopted son.