Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky tonight denied charges that he sexually abused eight boys over a period of 15 years, charges that rocked the university and led to the firing of the college president and iconic football coach Joe Paterno.
In a phone interview with NBC’s Bob Costas airing this evening on NBC News’ “Rock Center,” Sandusky, 67, said he is innocent, but admitted he “horsed around” and showered with boys in his Second Mile charity.
“I could say that I have done some of those things,” Sandusky said. “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.”
Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys. He is currently free on $100,000 bail.
Former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President of Finance Gary Schultz have also been charged with perjury and failing to report to police an alleged rape of a young child by Sandusky on school property in 2002.
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, told Anderson Cooper on CNN this evening that Sandusky’s accusers “don’t even have victims in some of their cases” and that his client will be able to explain each alleged encounter.
He added that although Sandusky’s admitted showering and horseplay with boys may have shown poor judgment, it needs to be considered within the context of jock culture.
“Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid. He’s a jock,” Amendola said. “The bottom line is, jocks do that. They kid around, they horse around.
“I would feel uncomfortable doing it, but Jerry did that,” Amendola added. “But that’s a far different thing – saying he got showers with kids – than saying he committed these other acts.”
ABC News’ Michael S. James contributed to this report.