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Monday, March 25, 2013 - 10:20am
Jerry Sandusky will probably be incarcerated for the rest of his life for child sex abuse convictions, but the former Penn State assistant football coach is making sure he has his say outside the prison walls.
Documentary filmmaker John Ziegler interviewed Sandusky, 68, for a project he calls "The Framing of Joe Paterno." On Monday, NBC's "Today" show aired a portion of a phone conversation between the two men.
In the broadcast excerpts, Sandusky questioned the credibility of prosecution witness Mike McQueary, another former Penn State assistant coach, who testified that he walked in on Sandusky raping a child in the showers at a school facility.
"I think there's a lot of things that transpired. I think these investigators, the way they went about business, you know, his story changed a lot. I think he said some things, and then it escalated on him," Sandusky said. "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. (laughter) You know, like he said that could've been, I mean, there was ... that would have been the last thing I would have thought about. I would've thought maybe fooling around or something like that. (laughter)"
Sandusky also discussed what Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State head coach who was forced out as a result of the scandal, knew -- or didn't know.
"If he absolutely thought I was (a pedophile), I'd say no. If he had a suspicion, I don't know the answer to that," Sandusky said.
Ziegler wrote an open letter to the media on Sunday, and said on the "Today" show that "the media, in this particular case, has an agenda. They don't want to hear what the truth is. This has been a rush to judgment from the very beginning."
"Jerry Sandusky had his day in court. Joe Paterno never did. I am trying to get Joe Paterno, effectively, his day in court," Ziegler said, later adding, "This is all about Joe Paterno's alleged culpability, which I don't believe the facts back up. I think he was railroaded."
Both Penn State and the Paterno family lambasted Sandusky and the release of his audio.
"Jerry Sandusky's statements today continue to open wounds for his victims, and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere. We have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly," said Penn State spokesman David La Torre.
And Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers released a statement saying, "The release of the audio recording of Jerry Sandusky is a sad and unfortunate development. Sandusky had the opportunity to speak, under oath, during his trial and he chose not to do so. Releasing a recording at this time, nearly a year after he was found guilty on 45 counts, is transparently self-serving and yet another insult to the victims and anyone who cares about the truth in this tragic story.
"The Paterno family would prefer to remain silent on this matter, but they feel it is important to make it clear that they had no role in obtaining or releasing this recording. Moreover, they believe that any attempt to use this recording as a defense of Joe Paterno is misguided and inappropriate. I encourage anyone who wants to understand the facts of this case to go to Paterno.com and read the reports of former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, former FBI profiler, James Clemente, noted pedophilia expert, Dr. Fred Berlin and the King and Spalding legal team.
"From the beginning, the family has been committed to due process and a careful, objective examination of the facts. This is the path they will continue to follow."
Sandusky was sentenced in October to 30 to 60 years in prison for abusing 10 boys during a 15-year period.
On February 21, he filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence with the Pennsylvania Superior Court, according to court records.