More Sandusky accusers come forward
NEW YORK - Additional suspected victims of the former Penn State assistant football coach at the heart of a massive sex scandal have come forward to authorities since his arrest, a source familiar with the investigation told CBS News.
The source did not provide the number of alleged victims but said that they are being vetted by Pennsylvania State Police. The New York Times reported earlier the number of alleged new victims is around 10.
The new accusations come as Jerry Sandusky said he showered with young boys and hugged them but called the allegedly criminal contact "horseplay."
Sandusky has been formally accused of sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year span, with some of the alleged crimes happening at Penn State, where he had access to campus as an emeritus professor following his 1999 retirement as coaching legend Joe Paterno's top defensive assistant.
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Sandusky told NBC News' "Rock Center" on Monday night that he was not a pedophile but, in retrospect, should not have showered with the boys he's charged with sexually assaulting.
In an interview with Bob Costas, Sandusky, once considered the heir apparent to Paterno, proclaimed his innocence in the face of a series of startling allegations detailed in a grand jury report issued last week.
"I am innocent of those charges," Sandusky said. "... 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 legs without intent of sexual contact."
Asked whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys, he said "sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
Asked if there was anything he had done wrong, Sandusky said, "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."
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When pressed about how two people could claim to have witnessed Sandusky engaged in sexual contact with boys on two different occasions, Sandusky replied that "you'd have to ask" them.
The scandal has hit hard the community called Happy Valley, where "success with honor" is the motto. Paterno and University President Graham Spanier have lost their jobs and Athletic Director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz face perjury charges.
The interview with Costas was Sandusky's first public comment on the charges. He had previously maintained his innocence through his attorney, Joe Amendola.
"We anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say 'This never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred,'" Amendola said on the NBC broadcast.
A spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly declined to comment on the interview, citing the active investigation.
Amendola earlier told CNN that his client was just behaving like "a jock."
"Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid," Amendola said. "He's a jock, and for anybody who's ever played sports, you get showers after you work out."
Wide receivers coach Mike McQueary told a grand jury that in March 2001 when he was a graduate assistant, he saw Sandusky sodomizing a boy about 10 years old in a shower at the Nittany Lions' practice center. McQueary did not go to police but instead told Paterno, Curley and Schultz, although it is unclear how detailed a description he gave. Schultz, in turn, notified Spanier.
Sandusky told NBC there was no sexual contact.
"We were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor, and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel — horseplay," he said.
Amendola accused the attorney general's office of having "thrown everything they can throw up against the wall." He said some of the allegations, such as putting a hand on a boy's knee, do not constitute criminal conduct and other cases include no direct complaint by the boy.
"They have other people who are saying they saw something, but they don't have actual people saying, `This is what Jerry did to me,"' Amendola said. "We're working to find those people, and when the time comes, and if we are able to do that, we think this whole case will change dramatically."
The Associated Press has made several efforts to reach Sandusky by phone and through Amendola, but messages haven't been returned. The AP also knocked on Sandusky's door and left messages at least three times over the past week.
When Sandusky retired in 1999, at just 55, he cited his desire to devote more time to The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk kids. According to the grand jury report, however, Sandusky was a sexual predator who used the charity and his Penn State connections to prey on young boys.