BELLEFONTE — Dottie Sandusky says she still loves her husband.
The wife of convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky remains loyal to and supportive of the man who is now housed in the Centre County Correctional Facility awaiting sentencing. Jerry Sandusky’s molesting of young boys launched a scandal at Penn State that has taken down head football coach Joe Paterno, university president Graham Spanier and other senior leaders; dismantled The Second Mile, the charity he founded; led to the crippling of the football program for which he once was a star coach; and has the university facing potential lawsuits for millions upon millions of dollars in damages to be paid out to the victims.
“I love my husband,” Dottie Sandusky said Thursday, before getting into her SUV along South Allegheny Street. She said she’s known Jerry for more than 40 years.“He’s not who they say he is,” she said.
Dottie Sandusky declined an offer to tell her full story to the Centre Daily Times, saying her family has spoken out before and it’s not been heard. She said she doesn’t trust the press and that her family has nothing to say.
She met one of her sons and a friend of his for lunch Thursday at a Bellefonte pizza shop, just down the street from the courthouse where a jury found her husband guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse.Also Thursday, attorneys from State College and Philadelphia made public that they’re representing victim No. 2, a young man seen with Jerry Sandusky in a shower in February 2001.
Inside the pizza shop, Dottie Sandusky happened to walk by the TV as a news program aired a clip about her husband and the victim No. 2 revelation. She didn’t turn her head to look at the TV.
Since her husband was indicted in November, questions rage over what Dottie Sandusky knew or how she didn’t know. Young men testified at trial last month that they were abused in the basement of the Sanduskys’ home, and one said he screamed out for help.When Dottie Sandusky testified for the defense, she said she never saw her husband doing anything inappropriate with the young boys he brought to his house over the years.On the stand, she seemed confident, even upbeat. She said her husband’s job as a coach meant he worked long hours, sometimes 12-hour days or longer. Weekends consisted of football games, church and going out to eat.
“He was not around a lot,” she testified.
When the guilty verdict came down, Dottie Sandusky didn’t appear to be crying. At the time, attorney Joe Amendola said the Sanduskys felt Jerry was convicted by the public well before his trial.
Originally from Tennessee, Dottie met Jerry Sandusky at a picnic in the 1960s and they started dating while he was a starting senior football player at Penn State. The couple’s first residence was on Norle Street in Lemont, and then the couple built a Cape Cod-style home on Grandview Road and moved in during the mid-1980s.That home became a target for vandalism after the November indictment, including a window being broken out. During the past month, police have investigated a report of “suspicious activity” at the home that police said was “totally unrelated” to the criminal case.