Jerry Sandusky interview, The Today Show
Jerry Sandusky has broken his silence on the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, giving an interview from prison in which he says head football coach Joe Paterno would not have kept him on the school's coaching staff if Paterno knew he was a pedophile.
"If he absolutely thought I was [a pedophile], I'd say no," Sandusky tells John Ziegler, a filmmaker who's working on a documentary about Paterno's culpability in the case. "If he had a suspicion, I don't know the answer to that."
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In an interview on Monday's Today show, Ziegler says he has "no doubt" Sandusky is guilty of abusing children, but believes Paterno was completely unaware Sandusky was abusing children. His documentary, Framing Joe Paterno, sets out to prove his theory."Jerry Sandusky already had his day in court," Ziegler told Matt Lauer Monday. "Joe Paterno never did. I'm trying to get Joe Paterno effectively his day in court for this. ... If [viewers] look at the three and a half hours of my interview with Jerry Sandusky and they believe that Joe Paterno was somehow culpable here, I will be stunned."
Sandusky, who chose not to testify during his trial last year, was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. But questions linger about the extent to which Paterno knew about the accusations against Sandusky before they were made public. Paterno was fired from Penn State's football program in November 2011 and died of lung cancer in January 2012.
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The Paterno family lawyer released a statement to NBC ahead of Ziegler's interview, stating on behalf of the family: "They feel it is important to make it clear that they had no role in obtaining or releasing this recording. ... They believe that any attempt to use this recording as a defense of Joe Paterno is misguided and inappropriate."
Watch Ziegler's full Today show interview below. What do you think of Sandusky's statements?