Sandusky laughs off witness testimony, implies Paterno didn't believe he was a pedophile

Convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky is remorseless in his first interview from behind bars

By Katie McDonough

Published March 25, 2013 1:51PM (EDT)

   (AP/Paul Vathis)
(AP/Paul Vathis)

In an interview that aired Monday on the "Today" show, convicted child sex offender and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky laughed off and disputed witness testimony from former assistant coach Mike McQueary, who said that he heard sounds "of a sexual nature" coming from a campus locker room where Sandusky was alone with a 10-year-old boy.

Sandusky also said that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno would not have let him coach if he believed he was a pedophile: “If he [Paterno] absolutely thought I was [a pedophile], I'd say no. If he had a suspicion, I don't know the answer to that.”

Of McQueary's allegations, Sandusky said:

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 like he said that could've been. I mean, that would have been the last thing I would have thought about. I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that.

The Sandusky interview is the first to be broadcast since he went to prison in October 2012, and is part of filmmaker John Ziegler's documentary "Framing Paterno," which is a defense of the disgraced coach.

"I'm trying to get Joe Paterno, effectively his day in court ... I have no doubt that Jerry Sandusky was guilty of many of things, if not all the things, that he was accused of, but I do believe there were due process problems with the trial," Ziegler told Matt Lauer on "Today."

An attorney for one of Sandusky's victims released a statement in response to the interview:

Jerry Sandusky is a convicted child predator giving interviews from prison. Our clients, including Victim 2, have heard enough from Jerry Sandusky. They are focused on healing and holding Penn State accountable for choosing to protect Jerry Sandusky and themselves instead of protecting children from years of horrific sexual abuse.

Paterno's family also released a statement denouncing the interview, saying that any attempt to use the recording as a defense of Paterno is "misguided and inappropriate."

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Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Child Sex Abuse Jerry Sandusky Joe Paterno Video