Nightly News | December 03, 2011
LESTER HOLT, anchor: Now to a big development in the sex abuse scandal at Penn State . Tonight we're hearing from disgraced former football coach Jerry Sandusky on camera in a lengthy revealing interview about his contact with young boys . NBC News national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff has our report.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF reporting: Jerry Sandusky again denied charges that he sexually molested children. But has he also given prosecutors fresh ammunition that they can use against him?
Mr. JERRY SANDUSKY: These allegations are false. I didn't do those things. I don't know what to say.
ISIKOFF: The former Penn State defensive coordinator spoke for nearly four hours to The New York Times , his most detailed explanation yet of the conduct that had led prosecutors to file 40 criminal charges against him for allegedly abusing eight children over 13 years. Sandusky provided his version of a crucial moment when Penn State 's then athletic director, Tim Curley , confronted him about a 2002 allegation involving a 10-year-old boy in the shower in the school's locker room.
Mr. SANDUSKY: He was coming to me with a concern because, you know, and I guess in his words, somebody had talked to him about inappropriate behavior in the shower. I told him that I -- you know, it didn't happen, and you know, there wasn't -- in my mind, there wasn't inappropriate behavior.
ISIKOFF: Sandusky said that Coach Joe Paterno never talked to him about any of this.
Mr. SANDUSKY: I don't know that he didn't know.
Unidentified Woman: Mm-hmm.
Mr. SANDUSKY: I know that he didn't -- never said anything to me. I know that.
ISIKOFF: Sandusky also tried to explain his response last month when NBC 's Bob Costas asked him a question that appeared to throw him.
BOB COSTAS reporting: Are you sexually attracted to young boys ? To underage boys?
Mr. SANDUSKY: Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?
Mr. SANDUSKY: Sexually attracted ? You know, I enjoy young people . I love to be around them. I -- but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys .
Mr. SANDUSKY: I was sitting there saying, now what in the world is this question? You know. If I say no, I'm not attracted to boys, that's not the truth because I'm attracted to young people , boys, girls.
Unidentified Man: Yeah, but not sexually. You're attracted because
Mr. SANDUSKY: Yeah. I enjoy -- that's what I was trying to say.
Mr. SANDUSKY: I enjoy spending time with young people . I enjoy spending time with people.
ISIKOFF: For his part, Paterno , who is undergoing cancer treatments, still wasn't talking about the case today. But a lawyer for one of the alleged victims said Sandusky 's continued public denials are painful for his client.
Mr. MICHAEL BONI (Alleged Victim's Attorney): That felt like a punch in the stomach to me just knowing Victim One and his mother.
ISIKOFF: Lester , some legal analysts are wondering why Sandusky is speaking to the press at all, saying all of this could come back to haunt him if, in fact, the case does proceed to trial. Lester :
HOLT: Michael Isikoff in Pennsylvania tonight. Thank you.