In interview clips, Sandusky doubts McQueary testimony

Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. Clips were shown on NBC.
Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. Clips were shown on NBC. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 27, 2013

Former coach Mike McQueary, who testified that he witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a child in a Pennsylvania State University locker-room shower, might have been unduly influenced by overzealous investigators, Sandusky said in an interview broadcast on Today on Monday.

"His story changed a lot," said Sandusky, 69, who is serving a 30- to 60-year jail term for his conviction last year on sexual-abuse charges.

"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.

"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.

"I think there's a lot of things that transpired," he said. "There's a lot of suggestive questioning."

The interview was conducted by John Ziegler, who is making a documentary in defense of Joe Paterno, fired as Penn State football coach after Sandusky's 2011 arrest following allegations that Paterno concealed information about Sandusky's abuse of boys. Ziegler said Monday that Paterno was "railroaded."

In the interview clips broadcast Monday, Sandusky says he did not think Paterno would have let him continue coaching if he thought him a pedophile.

Paterno's family released a statement describing the use of the interview to defend the late coach as "misguided and inappropriate." Paterno's son, Scott, denounced on Twitter what he called Ziegler's "irresponsible and unsupportable conclusions."

"Why would we oppose Ziegler's analysis if it credibly exonerated Dad? We oppose it b/c it seeks to do so with a false narrative," Scott Paterno wrote.

Penn State released a statement saying that Sandusky's comments "continue to open wounds for his victims and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere."

Ziegler said he interviewed Sandusky several times for about 31/2 hours. In questioning by Today's Matt Lauer, Ziegler said that he believed Sandusky was guilty of "many" of the charges against him, but that McQueary's story about what he saw changed over the years.

"It depends on which version of Mike McQueary's testimony you believe," he said.

McQueary testified that in 2001, as a graduate assistant, 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 whistle-blower lawsuit against Penn State over how he was treated after Sandusky's arrest. McQueary was placed on administrative leave, and, later, the university declined to renew his coaching contract.


Contact Allison Steele at 610-313-8113

or asteele@phillynews.com.

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