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Sandusky's wife testifies about kids she and husband filled their lives with

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 09:06


BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Dottie Sandusky described the life she and her husband, Jerry Sandusky, had as one filled with children, first the six they adopted, then their grandchildren and the ones he worked with in The Second Mile charity.

"We just enjoyed helping children," she said of the nonprofit he started. "We knew we couldn't take any more kids into our family."

Dottie Sandusky testified for about 45 minutes Tuesday afternoon to a jury that will decide whether her husband of 45 years is guilty or not guilty of grooming young boys he met through The Second Mile before sexually abusing them.

She said she never heard a boy's cries in her home nor saw any inappropriate behavior involving her husband and a boy. An exception, she said, was when alleged victim No. 1 jumped in Jerry Sandusky's lap while they were all watching television.

Another time, they went to see the boy wrestle, she said.

"He ran clear across the room and jumped up, jumped up to hug Jerry," she said.

She was asked about the alleged victims in the case and Mike McQueary, who said he walked in on Jerry Sandusky naked in a shower with a boy, and whether they would have any reason to lie. She paused before answering: "I don't know what it would be for."

Wearing a mint green sweater set, Dottie Sandusky, 69, remained calm on the stand, sometimes apologizing for not remembering a specific date. But she was largely upbeat, winking in the direction of the defense table, where her husband sat, as she took the witness stand.

Prosecutors allege that some of the abuse took place in the Sandusky home, particularly the basement. Several of the young men who have taken the stand against Jerry Sandusky spoke of sleeping in the basement where he would fondle them or engage in oral sex. Alleged victim No. 9, for example, testified that Sandusky raped him in the basement and he cried out for help.

Dottie Sandusky said that her husband slept in the same bed she did, and that almost always he went to bed first. When they had children over, he would say goodnight to them.

She also testified about the Alamo Bowl incident, when she walked into the hotel room to find her husband and alleged victim No. 4, who went on the trip with them, arguing.

Dottie Sandusky said the two were standing, fully clothed, arguing about whether the boy would go to a luncheon for which they had bought him a $50 ticket.

"I think it was the day of the luncheon and (the boy) refused to go," she said, adding her husband knew she would be upset about the wasted luncheon ticket.

Alleged victim No. 4 had testified that Dottie had nearly walked in on Sandusky trying to force him to perform oral sex on him in the shower.

Dottie Sandusky knew most of the alleged victims, and described alleged victim No. 4 as "demanding" and "conniving."

"He wanted his way and didn't listen a lot," she said.

She described another alleged victim as "clingy" to her husband. Alleged victim no. 9, she said, "was a charmer. He knew what to say, when to say it."

Other alleged victims were nice, she testified. But she didn't recognize alleged victim No. 10's name or photo.

She also spoke about the family life she and her husband have had after he moved to State College, Pa., in 1969 so he could take a Penn State coaching job. From then on, they led a busy life, she said.

They met at a picnic and started dating while he was a starting senior player at Penn State. They were married in 1966. He worked at Juniata College and Boston University before returning to Penn State in 1969.

"Joe (Paterno) called Jerry and asked Jerry to come back to coach," she said.

They weren't able to have children, but adopted six.

She described her husband's life while he worked as a Penn State coach as a busy one. He worked long hours, and on the weekends there were football games, church and going out to eat.

"He was not around a lot," she said.

She said that active schedule continued after he retired and focused on The Second Mile.

Dottie Sandusky said she had heard of the investigation by police into whether her husband's showering with a boy in 1998 was inappropriate, saying the boy's mother had called police and a few days later the Sanduskys received a letter saying charges wouldn't be filed.

Last summer, she said, that same person went out to eat with the family.

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