Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky proclaimed his innocence in an interview with Bob Costas of NBC (complete transcript). Sandusky said he regrets showering with boys, but says it was just "horse play" and that he is not a pedophile and did not rape a boy in the shower. Sandusky is free on bail after being indicted by a grand jury of sexual abuse.
Jerry Sandusky: I say that I’m innocent of those charges.
Costas: Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?
Sandusky: Well, I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them. And I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact. But, so if you look at it that way, there are things that... would be accurate.
Costas: Are you denying that you had an inappropriate sexual contact with any of these underage boys?
Sandusky: Yes I am.
Costas then asked him about the most explosive charge, that he raped a 10-year-old boy in a shower in 2002:
Costas: What did happen in the shower the night that [Penn State assistant coach] Mike McQueary happened upon you and the young boy?
Sandusky: OK, we were showering and horsing around. And he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and, um, as I recall we were possibly like snapping a towel or horseplay.
Sandusky said he has no idea why McQueary said he saw him raping the boy. His attorney, Joe Amendola, told Costas that the boy -- now in his 20s -- says "it never happened." Amendola told Anderson Cooper of CNN: "Jerry Sandusky is a big, overgrown kid. He's a jock. The bottom line is jocks do that - they kid around, they horse around."
Sandusky also was asked whether he was sexually attracted to young boys. It took him 16 seconds to answer:
Sexually attracted. You know, no. I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. I love to be around them... um. I... I, but no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.
Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty and by giving interviews is determined to fight the charges. I am not sure how he will sway a jury or a judge that it was totally innocent and normal for a grown man to be horsing around in the shower with boys. However, proving a sexual assault will take testimony from victims, some of whom might not be eager to have their names and life histories made public. This case looks like it's going to last a while and we haven't had all the facts come out yet.