Wife says Sandusky is innocent, bails him out of jail

Hours after she bailed him out of jail Thursday, the wife of Jerry A. Sandusky issued a statement expounding his innocence and calling allegations that a boy yelled for her help while being assaulted in the basement of their State College home "absolutely untrue."

"I have been devastated by these accusations. I am also angry about these false accusations that such a terrible incident ever occurred in my home," Dottie Sandusky said in a statement issued by her husband's attorney, Joe Amendola, who said he has warned her that she could become a target of the investigation.

The former Penn State University assistant football coach, charged last month with sexually assaulting eight boys over more than a decade, was jailed Wednesday after being arraigned on 12 additional counts for sexually assaulting two other boys.

With a $50,000 certified check issued by his wife and with a $200,000 realty bond backed by his home, Mr. Sandusky posted bail Thursday morning and was released from the Centre County Correctional Facility, where he was whisked away in a gray sedan.

As a condition of his bail, he will be subject to house arrest and will wear an electronic monitoring anklet. Mr. Sandusky, who prosecutors allege recruited his victims through his charity for at-risk youth, also esd ordered to have no contact with victims or witnesses and no unsupervised contact with minors.

Speaking for the first time since her husband was arrested Nov. 5, Mrs. Sandusky stood by him, repeatedly claiming his innocence and calling the accusations made against him by the 10 "false."

In the most recent charges, a young man told the grand jury that he met Mr. Sandusky through The Second Mile as an 11- or 12-year-old and that Mr. Sandusky took an interest in him.

As other alleged victims have claimed, Mr. Sandusky plied him with cash and gifts, taking him to Penn State football games and then back to his home, where, the young man said, Mr. Sandusky had him sleep and eat in the finished basement. He said it was there that Mr. Sandusky assaulted him, forcing him to perform oral sex and attempting to have anal sex with him. He said he had "barely any" contact with Mrs. Sandusky.

"He specifically testified that she 'never' came into the basement when he was there," the grand jury presentment said. "On at least one occasion he screamed for help, knowing that [Mr.] Sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him."

In her statement, she refuted this testimony.

"I have been shocked and dismayed by the allegations made against Jerry, particularly the most recent one that a now young man has said he was kept in our basement during visits and screamed for help as Jerry assaulted him while I was in our home and didn't respond to his cries for help," she wrote in the statement. "No child who ever visited our home was ever forced to stay in our basement and fed there. All the kids who visited us ate with us and our kids and other guests when they were at our home.

"Our children, our extended family and friends know how much Jerry and I love kids and have always tried to help and care for them. We would never do anything to hurt them. I am so sad anyone would make such a terrible accusation which is absolutely untrue. We don't know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue."

Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for Attorney General Linda Kelly, declined to comment on Mrs. Sandusky's refutation of the charges. He also declined to say if Mrs. Sandusky was being investigated.

"We're not going to debate the grand jury presentment in the newspapers," he said. "The allegations that have been leveled in this case will be tried in a court of law under oath."

It's not the first time someone has alleged they were sexually assaulted by Mr. Sandusky in his home, raising questions about how much Mrs. Sandusky knew if the allegations are true. A young man, identified as Victim 7 in the first grand jury presentment, said Mrs. Sandusky contacted him two weeks before he testified before the grand jury and left a message, "saying the matter was very important." The young man never returned the phone calls.

But Mr. Amendola said Mrs. Sandusky contacted the young man "to see if [he] would serve as a character-type witness."

"It never even dawned on either her or Jerry" that the young man would be called to testify in the grand jury.

Two other young men who accused Mr. Sandusky of sexually assaulting them also were invited to dinner with him and his wife in July. An attorney for one of the men has questioned the Sanduskys' motive for the invitation.

But Mr. Amendola countered that "they believe that a number of these kids were their friends," he said.

Another young man, identified as Victim 1 in the first grand jury presentment, said Mr. Sandusky would have him sleep in his basement and sexually assaulted him there numerous times. Victim 3 also reported having his genitals fondled by Mr. Sandusky while sleeping in the basement. Victim 4, who reported being assaulted by Mr. Sandusky on numerous occasions, was "a fixture in the Sandusky household" and frequently stayed at the Sandusky home, in addition to traveling with the family to the Alamo Bowl. Victim 7 reported Mr. Sandusky cuddled with him in the basement.

Mrs. Sandusky also defended The Second Mile, which her husband left in 2010 after telling the organization he was being investigated by a grand jury.

"I continue to believe in Jerry's innocence and all the good things he has done. Jerry's many success stories with his Second Mile kids and positive memories of those kids keep me going," she said.

"I am asking everyone to please be reasonable and open-minded until both sides of this case are heard and Jerry has the opportunity to prove his innocence."

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2533. First Published December 9, 2011 5:00 AM


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