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The interview comes two and a half weeks after a phone-in interview with NBC’s Bob Costas, where Sandusky was widely criticized for the blasé way he responded to allegations of his sexual abuse. The Times interview, which was conducted over two days this past week and lasted nearly four hours, was recorded at the home of Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola.
In the interview, Sandusky insists he has never abused any child, though he confirms details of the events prosecutors have listed in the 40 counts of molestation cited by eight young boys, all of whom Sandusky met through the charity he founded, the Second Mile. He said he agreed to the interview with the Times after several requests, only because he wanted to further clarify his stance, despite what prosecutors are alleging.
“I’m not the monster everyone made me out to be,” Sandusky says. “[The prosecutors] have taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever… I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all.”
While he denies any abuse, Sandusky confirms that he gave money and gifts to children he knew from the Second Mile, something prosecutors have said was a manipulative scheme on his part. “I would call kids on the phone and work with them academically,” Sandusky says. “I tried to reward them sometimes with a little money in hand, just so they could see something. But more often than not, I tried to set up, maybe get them to save the money, and I put it directly into a savings account established for them.” He says he passed along gifts to the children that had been brought to the charity by donors. “I never bought a computer for any kid; I had a computer given to me to give to a kid,” he says. “I never bought golf clubs. People gave me things because they knew there would be kids. They wanted to get rid of things.”
Some of the more interesting interview highlights: Sandusky says Joe Paterno never spoke to him directly about the sexual abuse charges, Sandusky blunders again when asked if he is attracted to young boys (he says he is attracted to young people—but his lawyer quickly clarifies: “not sexually”), and Sandusky reveals that even to this day, he still has his keys to the Penn State football locker room where so much of the alleged abuse occurred.
But as he prepares to sort through the charges against him in court, Sandusky discusses the biggest changes to his life in recent months, and the things he misses most. “I miss coaching,” Sandusky says. “I miss Second Mile. I miss Second Mile kids. I miss interrelationships with all kinds of people. I miss my own grandkids. I miss, I mean you know I’m going to miss my dog. So, I mean, yeah, I miss, yeah. Good grief.”
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