Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky – on trial this week on child rape allegations – has made many public comments about the case, including that while he may have "horsed around" with boys, he's innocent of the charges.
The comments came in the months before the trial - including a newly released, previously un-aired excerpt from a November NBC interview in which he said, while explaining that he had helped many young people through a charity he founded, that he "didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped."
The trial began last week with the testimony of eight men who accuse him of sexually abusing them when they were boys. Over four days, several testified that Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts with him in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches' locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.
Sandusky, who has pleaded not guilty, has admitted showering with boys – some of whom he allegedly met through the charity he created for underprivileged children – but denies the child-sex accusations.
Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial:
Aired portions of NBC interview: I 'horsed around,' but am innocent
On November 14 – days after a graphic 23-page grand jury report detailing some of the allegations was released – Sandusky told NBC's Bob Costas in a phone interview that he was "innocent" of the charges and claimed that the only thing he did wrong was having "showered with those kids."
“I say that I am innocent of those charges,” Sandusky told Costas during the interview, which was aired on NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams."
Costas pressed. "Innocent? Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?" Costas said.
Sandusky responded: “I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have touched their leg - without intent of sexual contact.”
Costas also asked: "Are you sexually attracted to underage boys?"
Sandusky repeated the question, paused, and responded, "No. I enjoy young people."
Asked if then-head football coach Joe Paterno had ever spoken to him about his behavior or expressed disapproval, Sandustry said simply, "No."
Sandusky also flatly denied a specific allegation that then-Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in 2002 in a Penn State locker room shower area. Sandusky said instead that he and the boy were in the shower, "snapping towels" and engaging in horseplay.
And asked if he felt guilty over the fallout that has affected the university and prominent university figures including Paterno, who was fired in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Sandusky responded, "I don't think it was my fault. I obviously played a part in this ... I shouldn't have showered with those kids. That's what hits me the most."
New excerpt: I didn't 'seek out every young person for sexual needs'
In June, NBC reported that the prosecution had subpeoneaed a previously unaired portion of Costas' November interview with Sandusky.
Here is a transcript of that excerpt:
Costas: "So it’s entirely possible that you could have helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable, while horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E. Isn’t that possible?"
Sandusky: “Well, you might think that. I don’t know. In terms of my relationship with so many, many young people, I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward – many more young people who would come forward – and say that my methods and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life.
“And I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped. There are many that I didn’t have – hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.”
It's not clear whether the excerpt will be played for jurors.
New York Times interview: Trying to clarify position toward youths
In an interview with The New York Times published December 3, Sandusky attempted to clarify how he feels about his relationships with young people.
"If I say, 'No, I'm not attracted to young boys,' that's not the truth," Sandusky said. "Because I'm attracted to young people - boys, girls - I ..."
His lawyer, who was present at the interview, spoke up at that point to note that Sandusky is "not sexually" attracted to them.
"Right. I enjoy, that's what I was trying to say, I enjoy spending time with young people. I enjoy spending time with people," Sandusky continued. "I mean my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young."
According to the Times story, Sandusky stressed that he and Paterno never discussed the allegations of sexual misconduct.
"I don't know that he didn't know," he told the newspaper. "I know that he never said anything to me. I know that."
The Times interview with Sandusky honed in on two separate allegations of misconduct in 1998 and 2002.
When Sandusky retired in December 1999, an investigation of his alleged actions a year before had never been made public, but were later detailed in the grand jury's report.
Sandusky told the Times that Tim Curley, Penn State's athletic director at the time, confronted him about the alleged misconduct.
"He was concerned about it," he told the newspaper. "He was coming to me with a concern because, in his words, somebody had talked to him about inappropriate behavior in the shower."
Sandusky said he responded by saying "it didn't happen."
"In my mind, there wasn't inappropriate behavior," he said.
The former coach said Curley then told him that "he didn't want me to bring kids (into university facilities) and work them out anymore," according to the interview.
But, he told the Times, Curley never commandeered his keys to the facility.
"And I still went in there and worked out," the former coach said.
The four-hour interview was conducted at the home of his lawyer over two days, where he insisted that his decades of work with troubled youths as part of his charity the Second Mile had been "twisted" by prosecutors.
"They've taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever," Sandusky said. "I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all."
February: Sandusky objects to house arrest restrictions
On February 10, Sandusky publicly objected to some of the restrictions of his house arrest while he awaited trial. Those restrictions included no contact with his 11 grandchildren.
After attending a court hearing seeking relief from those restrictions, Sandusky addressed reporters.
"Friends who call me and who want to be with me, who want to see me, and I have to say, 'No, I can’t,' and they ask why," Sandusky said. "So I asked (my attorney Joe Amendola) why, and that’s why he brought it up.
"Or when I had a wife who came home after visiting with grandchildren, or was sitting there when grandchildren call (on) my birthday and they asked to talk to me, and she has to tell them that they can’t, I’m sensitive to that. Or when she comes home from visiting with grandchildren and tells me that one of them said that, 'The only thing I want for my birthday is to see Pop,' I’m sensitive to that. And that’s why I came today."
A judge later ruled that Sandusky could visit with some of his grandchildren. The judge also ruled that Sandusky would be allowed to have visits from adult friends and to leave his home for meetings with attorneys and private investigators aiding in his defense, provided that a probation coordinator approved.