In a jail house interview broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning, Jerry Sandusky sought to discredit former coach Mike McQueary’s testimony that he saw Sandusky raping a child in a Penn State football locker-room shower in 2002.
“I think there’s a lot of things that transpired,” Sandusky said in the interview. “I think these investigators, the way they went about business, his story changed a lot.”
Sandusky, 69, went on: “I don’t understand how anybody would have walked into that locker room from where he was and heard sounds associated that was sex going on,” he said, before pausing to laugh. He then continued: “… you know, like he said that could’ve been. That would have been the last thing I would have thought about. I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that.”
Sandusky then chuckled again.
The interview, the first Sandusky has given since he was sentenced last year to 30 to 60 years in prison for sexual abuse, was conducted by John Ziegler, who is making a documentary film in defense of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was fired after Sandusky’s 2011 arrest following allegations that he concealed information about Sandusky’s abuse of young boys.
Ziegler, who said Monday that Paterno was “railroaded,” said he interviewed Sandusky several times, totaling about 3 1/2 hours.
In questioning by NBC’s Matt Lauer, Ziegler said he believed Sandusky was guilty of “many, if not all” of the charges against him, but said McQueary’s story about what he had seen changed many times over the years.
“It depends on which version of Mike McQueary’s testimony you believe,” he said.
McQueary, who was a graduate assistant coach in 2002, testified last year that he saw Sandusky and a boy in a shower at Penn State and heard a “skin-on-skin smacking sound” that led him to conclude Sandusky was raping the child.
He has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State over how he was treated after he went to his superiors with the account.
Paterno’s family released a statement disavowing any connection with Ziegler and describing the use of the recorded interview to defend Paterno as “misguided and inappropriate.”
Penn State also released a statement saying that Sandusky’s comments “continue to open wounds for his victims, and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere.”
In the interview clips broadcast Monday morning, Sandusky also said he did not think Paterno would have let him keep coaching if he believed Sandusky was a pedophile.
“If he had a suspicion, I don’t know the answer to that,” Sandusky said.