How much did Dorothy Sandusky and six adopted children know about Penn State child rapist?
Jerry Sandusky’s wife, Dorothy, has been absent from the analysis of who knew what about the former Penn State coach alleged sexual abuse of eight boys over a 15-year period.
Now, Dorothy “Dottie” Gross Sandusky does make an appearance in the 23-page Grand Jury indictment which graphically details the charges against her husband.
Dorothy Sandusky, 68, attempted to call one of the victims in the weeks leading up to his testimony, despite the fact the now 26-year-old had cut off all contact with Jerry Sandusky two years prior.
Jerry Sandusky’s wife left a message on Victim 7′s phone saying the matter was “very important”, but the man, who told the Grand Jury that as a ten-year-old in 1994, coach Sandusky hugged and inappropriately touched him, did not return the call. Jerry Sandusky’s wife, Dorothy, has been absent from the analysis of who knew what about the former Penn State coach alleged sexual abuse of eight boys over a 15-year period.
Part of that alleged abuse took place in the Sandusky family’s State College, Pennsylvania, home, in which Dorothy and her husband raised their six adopted children. Jerry Sandusky claimed he and his wife could not have any of their own.
Over the years the couple became the parents to Ray, now 46, a businessman living in Nashville, EJ, 41, former Nittany Lions player, and now a football coach at West Chester University, Kara, 38, a Penn State graduate, Jeff, 35, a former Marine, and 33-year-olds Matt, a Penn State graduate and Jon, who is Director of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns.
Quite how much any of them knew about the sexual abuse, which occurred between 1994 and 2009 with a number of incidents at the family home, is now under scrutiny.
Jerry Sandusky and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, have maintained that he is innocent and publicly denied all allegations.
Neither Dorothy Sandusky nor any of her adopted children have yet made a statement on the scandal.
The Grand Jury indictment states that Jerry Sandusky selected his young victims from the “Second Mile”, a charity he started in 1977 devoted to helping troubled boys in the State College area. Dorothy Sandusky helped out with the running of the programme.
“After we had taken in some foster children, we saw the opportunities that some kids just hadn’t had,” Dorothy Sandusky told Sports Illustrated in 1982.
“But we’d gotten to the point where we couldn’t take in anymore, so Jerry started thinking about starting a group home.”
In his 2000 autobiography, “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story” the onetime heir apparent to Joe Paterno devotes many pages to his relationships with boys he met through the Second Mile.
Jerry Sandusky also makes reference to his own children during an exchange with some of the boys from the charity.
He wrote that one night he was talking to two Second Mile boys who had rebelled against their foster parents, with one boy telling how his foster father had “grabbed me around the back of my shoulders and he made me do something when I didn’t want to do it.”
“Do you ever grab your kids like that?” the boy asked Jerry Sandusky.
“No, I don’t grab my kids like that,” the coach answered.
“I grab them like this.”
Jerry Sandusky wrote: “With that, I put my hands gently around their throat.”
It was an apparent jest.
“I could tell they were totally confused,” Jerry Sandusky wrote.
“Both boys had a scared look in their eyes.”
The book repeatedly described Jerry Sandusky hugging boys and detailing how he was very close to those he met through the charity. Of the photos that line his office walls, he said: “They are kids that have touched my life and have been a part of me for a long, long time.”
In the book Jerry Sandusky paints himself as someone who would repeatedly take risks in the hunt for what he refers to as “mischief”.
“I believe I live a good part of my life in a make-believe world,” Jerry Sandusky wrote in one of the final chapters. “I enjoyed pretending as a kid, and I love doing the same as an adult with these kids.”
Whether Dorothy Sandusky was worried by any such behaviour is not yet known. What is established is that she has been by Jerry Sandusky’s side since the mid-1960s, when they married.
Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, she had met Jerry Sandusky in Washington a few years before. He endearingly called his wife “Sarge”, because Dorothy Sandusky was in charge in their home, ESPN News reported.
The shocking Grand Jury indictment makes repeated accusations that victims were abused inside the couple’s home.
Victim 1 spent many nights there sleeping in a basement bedroom. The report states that Jerry Sandusky would come down to the basement to check on him at bedtime.
The report found that Jerry Sandusky “indecently fondled Victim 1 on a number of occasions, performed oral sex on Victim 1 on a number of occasions and had Victim 1 perform oral sex on him on at least one occasion.”
Phone records also confirm that Jerry Sandusky made 61 phone calls from his home phone to Victim 1′s home phone between January 2008 and July 2009 despite Victim 1 expressing a wish that he no longer wanted to see the football coach.
Jerry Sandusky also made 57 calls from his personal cell phone to Victim 1′s home phone.
Despite these actions, there is no suggestion whatsoever in the indictment that Dorothy Sandusky was aware of her husband’s sexual relations with Victim 1 or any of the other seven victims.
Experts have suggested that Dorothy Sandusky and her children could well have been kept in the dark.
“[Abusers are] very good at hiding it from everyone,” clinical social worker Farlie Chastain told WRCB TV.
“Very good at seducing the child and manipulating the child not to tell.”
However, Farlie Chastain, who counsels sexually abused children and teenagers at Parkridge Valley, Tennesee and at Foxus Psychiatric Services in Tennessee Valley, adds: “I’ve seen it both ways, in which the family knows and is in denial.”
Meanwhile State College police have reported that someone threw two cinder blocks through a bedroom window at Jerry Sandusky’s house on Thursday night.
The news came as it emerged that Jerry Sandusky, who is out on bail, lives close to an elementary school and playground.
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