(Note: explicit sexual content)
(Reuters) - Jerry Sandusky’s adult adopted son told police he had lied to a grand jury when he denied being sexually abused by the former Penn State University assistant football coach and said he was coming forward so his family would know the truth, according to a tape of his police interview aired by NBC on Tuesday.
Matt Sandusky, 33, said in the interview with police in Pennsylvania he was molested by Jerry Sandusky, 68, off and on from ages 8 to 15 and tried to cope by escaping from his new family’s home and attempting to commit suicide.
“I know that I really wanted to die at that point in time,” Matt Sandusky, who was adopted at age 18 by Jerry Sandusky and his wife Dottie after living with them as a foster child, told police.
Jerry Sandusky was convicted in a closely watched trial by a jury in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania last Friday on 45 child sex abuse charges linked to the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period, sometimes at Penn State facilities.
He continues to maintain his innocence from jail through his lawyers, who say they did not believe Matt Sandusky’s account and were prepared to attack his credibility at trial.
Jerry Sandusky is “not a beaten man. He is pacing a cell right now being held in solitary confinement, wanting to get out and get his story out and continue to defend himself,” his attorney Karl Rominger told NBC.
“I don’t think Jerry believes he has anything to feel sorry for. At this point, he maintains his innocence adamantly,” Rominger said.
Shortly after jury deliberations began, a lawyer for Matt Sandusky said the adopted son had met with prosecutors to tell them that he, too, had been sexually abused by the former coach despite his previous denials.
According to NBC, Matt Sandusky secretly met with police four days into his father’s trial, and detectives were preparing for him to testify as a surprise prosecution witness. He did not end up testifying. Jerry Sandusky also did not testify.
On the tape of the police interview, Matt Sandusky said he remembered sometimes hiding in a fetal position when Jerry Sandusky entered his bedroom.
“If you were pretending you were asleep and you were touched or rubbed in some way, you could just act like you were rolling over in your sleep so you could change positions,” Matt Sandusky said.
He said he was seeing a therapist and the memories were just starting to come back, and he did not “as of this time” recall any penetration or oral sex.
During the trial, eight accusers, now men aged 18 to 28, testified for the prosecution, describing in often graphic detail being molested by Sandusky as boys, including oral and anal sex and shared showers. Two other alleged victims were never identified.
Reporting by Susan Heavey and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Will Dunham