STATE COLLEGE — Jerry Sandusky said in interview excerpts broadcast this morning that a key witness against him misinterpreted him showering with a young boy in Penn State football team facilities more than a decade ago.
Sandusky told documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, in recordings played on NBC’s “Today” show, that he does not understand how Mike McQueary concluded “that sex was going on” when he witnessed Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001.
“That would have been the last thing I would have thought about,” Sandusky said during what Ziegler described as 3½ hours of interviews. “I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that.”
McQueary, a graduate assistant in 2001, testified at trial that he heard “skin-on-skin smacking sound” and had no doubt he was witnessing anal sex.
The boy, identified as Victim 2 in court records, was not a witness at trial. A team of civil lawyers has said they are representing Victim 2 and posted online audio recordings of voicemails purportedly from Sandusky and left for the boy.
Sandusky also told Ziegler he was not sure whether head coach Joe Paterno, who was fired after Sandusky’s November 2011 arrest, would have let him keep coaching if he suspected Sandusky was a pedophile. Sandusky was investigated by university police for a separate shower incident in 1998, but remained one of Paterno’s top assistants through 1999.
“If he absolutely thought I was, I’d say no,” Sandusky said. “If he had a suspicion, I don’t know the answer to that.”
Ziegler is working on a defense of Paterno. Wick Sollers, a Paterno family lawyer, said in a statement released Sunday that Sandusky had an opportunity to testify at trial but “chose not to do so.”
Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted last year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.