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Dottie Sandusky gives rare interview on ‘Today’

Dottie Sandusky and her convicted sex child abuser and former coach under Penn State's Joe Paterno Jerry Sandusky, walk hand-in-hand at the trial. She believes he is innocent of all charges.
Dottie Sandusky and her convicted sex child abuser and former coach under Penn State's Joe Paterno Jerry Sandusky, walk hand-in-hand at the trial. She believes he is innocent of all charges.
Photo by Mark Wilson

Sometimes you look at a tragic story in the news and shake your head. Watching Dottie Sandusky, the wife of convicted child molester and former Penn State coach under Joe Paterno Jerry Sandusky, was an example of that.

The March 12 interview held by Today’s co-anchor Matt Lauer presented a woman who undoubtedly “stood by her man” like the famous song made by country singer Tammy Wynette. She presented a profile which displayed her husband was not guilty of any of the horrific crimes he was accused and sent to prison for.

It’s hard to understand how this woman cannot believe her husband was not guilty of anything. From the evidence in court and the Freeh Report, Jerry Sandusky lured young boys and molested them at the Penn State campus, at the organization he set up (The Second Mile), and at home in his basement. Lauer went to the Sandusky home and to the basement where the sex acts allegedly took place. The house was small, so Lauer found it odd that Mrs. Sandusky did not hear anything going on. She quipped ‘”I’m not a weak spouse, everyone called me Sarge.” Did she block out what was going on in the basement?

Jerry Sandusky received a prison sentence of 30 to 60 years in jail. Judge John M. Cleland stated the following to him from the Washington Post –

“That has the unmistakable impact of saying, clearly, for the rest of your life,” Cleland told Sandusky, in handing down a sentence that could range from 30 to 60 years. “You abused the trust of those who trusted you. . . . The crime is not only what you did to their bodies, but your assault to their psyches and souls.”

Sandusky also brought disgrace to a well-known athletic and academic school, Penn State University. He brought shame to his head coach Joe Paterno who was stripped of his accolades and soon died during the scandal. His behavior brought out the worst scandal in the school’s history. At his trial eight brave young boys spoke of the actions that took place with him. Nearly $60 million dollars was given to 26 victims as a result of his abuse. He embarrassed his family, relatives and all who were close to him.

Even his son, Matt Sandusky, attending the Sundance Film Festival in January, spoke of his father’s abuse. The Los Angeles Times report from an article stated this –

When the documentarian Amir Bar-Lev premiered "Happy Valley," his new movie about Joe Paterno, Penn State and the fallout from the Sandusky affair. Matt Sandusky appears in the film and is its emotional through-line, first describing how he was plucked from his impoverished childhood and adopted by Sandusky, and later how he was abused by the Penn State football coach.

After the screening, a standing ovation greeted Matt Sandusky, who choked back tears as he came to the front of the theater.

"It's been quite a journey from where I started," Sandusky said, his voice quavering. "My story has been told so many times by so people. This was an opportunity for me to come forward and start to explain my role, my life, my story."

It's hardly a simple tale. Matt Sandusky initially denied any abuse at the hands of his father. "I had to be loyal to the family. I wasn't going to betray him," he says in the film. But he decided finally to step forward when he heard the testimony of one of the victims.

Lauer in the interview used the example of an alcoholic who gets in an accident, says they will never do it again, but repeats the same thing. Lauer also continued with this –

Lauer asked Dottie if she believed her husband was guilty of inappropriate behavior with some of the young boys who have accused him.

“I don't believe that,’’ she said. “I believe he showered with kids. That’s the generation that Jerry grew up in....There were always people coming in and out no matter what time that was.”

The man who was with Dottie Sandusky in the interview was former radio talk host now filmmaker John Ziegler. Ziegler has a website called and believes Sandusky is innocent.

More on this debatable story can be viewed below.

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