From inside the walls of his prison cell, convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky blasted Penn State for settling with men who’ve come forward and claimed the former university coach molested them.
Controversial filmmaker John Ziegler published this week a letter Sandusky wrote to him Aug. 20 in which the former coach questions the university’s motives and implies he was “thrown under the bus.” The letter came as a response to questions posed by Ziegler, whose mission is to clear the name of Sandusky’s former boss, Joe Paterno, who was fired for moral reasons after the allegations were made public in late 2011.
“The only concern from the beginning of this by administrators and trustees has been to protect their image,” wrote Sandusky, who is appealing his conviction. “They didn’t question what they called ‘victims,’ instead they opened their arms and offered settlements, psychologists, public events, and media presentations.
“A public relations firm was hired early; this was their approach, and it didn’t matter who was thrown under the bus. Once they chose this course, they had to protect themselves.”
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Sandusky criticized the way Penn State officials responded to the allegations and suggested they wouldn’t backtrack. Sandusky called the whole thing “insane from the beginning.”
Sandusky specifically calls out the young man known as Victim 5, who testified he was forced into showering with the coach after a workout in August 2001.
The young man’s lawyer announced two weeks ago that his client had settled with Penn State, saying his claims were significant because the abuse happened after February 2001, when then-grad assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky in a locker room shower with a young boy. McQueary reported the incident to coach Joe Paterno, Paterno reported it to athletic director Tim Curley, and as part of Curley and other administrators’ responses, Sandusky was told not to bring children into athletic facilities.
Sandusky contends in the letter that he didn’t bring children into Penn State athletic facilities after the February 2001 incident.
Penn State has settled with 25 of 31 men claiming they were abused by Sandusky, a university lawyer said earlier this week. Three of the claimants were found not credible the lawyer, Michael Rozen, said.
Sandusky is serving a 30-year minimum sentencing, but his lawyers are asking for a new trial for reasons that include not having enough time to prepare a defense and that hearsay testimony by a Penn State janitor shouldn’t have been allowed.
Sandusky’s appeal will be heard in front of a panel of Superior Court judges at 3 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
Curley is awaiting trial along with former university president Graham Spanier and senior administrator Gary Schultz, who all have been charged with covering up Sandusky abuse allegations.
The lawyers for the men have vowed to fight the charges and have maintained their clients are innocent.