Jerry Sandusky's Wife Insists He's Innocent, And She's The Only Person In The World Who Thinks So

Former coach and convicted child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky still has one person in his corner: His wife of 47 years, Dottie Sandusky, who says he is innocent. Speaking in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, Dottie defended her husband, insisting he "did not do the horrible crimes" for which he was sentenced to a 30-to-60 year prison term — a functional life sentence. Dottie also countered a June 2012 Washington Post article by Melinda Henneberger, which speculated that Jerry could've chosen his wife for her willingness to overlook his crimes, and that Dottie might deserve jail time herself for doing so.

In 2012, the former Penn State football coach was convicted on a staggering 45 charges of child sexual abuse over a 15-year span, with eight of his victims testifying against him in court. Jerry's history as a prolific and habitual child sex abuser was well-demonstrated by those testimonies, in addition to that of former Penn State assistant Mike McQuery, who testified he witnessed Jerry raping a 10-year-old boy.

But standing more or less alone in her point of view was 69-year-old Dottie, who has always stuck by her husband's innocence.

I think [the victims] were manipulated and they saw money. And once lawyers came into the case they said there was money.

When pressed about the specifics of Jerry's abusive behavior, Dottie denied any wrongdoing by her jailed husband. Instead, She fell back on the same defense Jerry and his attorney peddled to try to beat the charges — that Jerry was from a different time, when adults and children showered together, and there was nothing at all wrong with it.

I don't believe that. 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.

But one of Dottie's main concerns seemed to be the damning assumptions which people hold about her own caliber, both as a wife and a human being. Her role as the spouse of a prolific molester and rapist of children was exacerbated at the trial: One of Sandusky's victims testified to being abused in the basement of his home, and to screaming in such a way that Ms. Sandusky must have heard in the house above.

Said Dottie:

There was nothing that went on because I was here, I mean I will take you downstairs and let you see the basement, it is not a dungeon, it is not what those kids said.

Obviously, whether a basement qualifies as a "dungeon" for a sex-assault victim isn't exactly Dottie's decision to make. The implication that a glimpse of some windows and pool tables will quell fears that any abuse took place is pretty painful.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In short, what Dottie Sandusky is saying is that she's certain he didn't do these awful things because she wasn't aware of them, and she would have known. Whether her disbelief springs from a sincere ignorance, or a decision to overlook Jerry's behavior, we'll probably never know.