Jill Jones, ex-Penn State coach’s former daughter-in-law has obtained a legal order barring Jerry Sandusky’ from seeing three of his grandchildren.
Jill Jones, who was once married to Matt Sandusky, one of the six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky, went to court to stop the accused paedophile from having access to their two daughters, aged 9 and 7, and one son, aged 5, according to documents.
A Grand Jury indictment alleges Jerry Sandusky, 67, sexually abused eight boys, some as young as seven, over a 15-year period and after hearing the horrific charges on November 5 and Jill Jones urged her ex-husband to keep the children away from their grandfather.
Later that day Jerry Sandusky’s wife, Dorothy, sent Jill Jones a text message informing her that Matt had taken the children to her State College, Pennsylvania home, but the former coach was not present.
Dorothy Sandusky also phoned Jill Jones to try to persuade her that the children would be safe around her husband, the documents said, according to The Daily.
Jill Jones was unwavering, though, and successfully obtained a restraining order forbidding the children from sleeping over at their grandparents’ home and banning Jerry Sandusky from seeing them unsupervised.
Although there is no record that Jill Jones ever accused her ex-father-in-law of abusing her children, there is a “fundamental disagreement over the validity of the charges against Jerry Sandusky and the risk he poses to children,” the court documents said, according to The Daily.
Jerry Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola says his client rejects all the allegations set forth in the 23-page indictment.
The news came as it emerged that Matt Sandusky, one of six now adult children Sandusky family adopted during the course of the lengthy marriage, attempted suicide just four months after first going to live with the couple.
Matt Sandusky, now 33, came into their home through The Second Mile in 1995, after having a troubled childhood in which he had burnt down a barn.
Children and Youth Services placed him with the family at Jerry Sandusky’s request.
The probation officer, Terry Trude, became concerned about Matt Sandusky’s well-being and mental health and together with his biological mother Debra Long, wrote a letter to Centre County Judge David Grine asking for his living situation to be reviewed, the Patriot-News reported.
However, contemporary court records include a letter written by Matt Sandusky in which he implores the judge to allow him to stay with the family.
“I would like to be placed back with the Sanduskys. I feel that they have supported me even when I have messed up. They are a loving caring group of people. I love both my biological family and the Sandusky family,” Matt Sandusky wrote at the time.
Matt Sandusky is not one of the eight victims in the Grand Jury indictment, but he did testify before the investigative panel at the attorney general’s office in the Strawberry Square complex, Harrisburg, the Patriot-News reported.
Debra Long said she also testified to the Grand Jury panel, and told them of her son’s change in behaviour after he went to live with Jerry Sandusky, according to the Patriot-News.
Joe Amendola countered, saying Debra Long “never liked Jerry because she saw Jerry as a person who was involved in removing her child from the home”.
Two of Matt Sandusky’s adopted siblings followed their father into the world of football: Edward Joel, 41, a former Nittany Lions player, and now a football coach at West Chester University and Jon, who is Director of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns.
On Monday, Jon Sandusky went on a leave of absence from the NFL club as the scandal involving his father exploded into the public domain. He and his wife, Kia, have an infant son.
Over the years the Sanduskys also became the parents to Ray, now 46, a photographer and woodturner living in Brentwood, Tennesee, Kara, 38, a Penn State graduate, and Jeff, 35, a former Marine.
In Jerry Sandusky’s 2000 memoir titled “Touched”, Kara, named Sandusky Werner, wrote in the introduction: “We were always proud of the things he did for kids.”
On his website, Ray Sandusky writes: “I have always been creative and constructive. I can recall painting meaningful images as a child in kindergarten, throwing clay vessels on a wheel in junior high school and performing all manner of assembly and repairs around the house.”
This week has seen people who believed they knew Jerry Sandusky come forward to express their shock at the allegations.
“A lot of people look at him as a monster now,” Kip Richeal, who co-authored Touched, told ESPN.
“I would’ve never, ever thought something like this about him. And how long did it go on? It never happened with me. When I met him, though, I was 18. I wasn’t a little boy.
“If this is all true, and it looks like it’s really stacking up, something took over his personality. Something changed, and it’s not the Jerry I know.”
Meanwhile ex-NFL player Jon Ritchie, who knew Jerry Sandusky since he was a 14-year-old, said on ESPN: “I thought he was the most compassionate, altruistic, selfless man on the face of the planet.
“There were always kids around, Second Mile kids (the charity Sandusky set up and allegedly picked his victims from).
“And these tragedies that are coming out now have brought sports, have brought everyone, to the darkest place. I can’t fathom sports right now. I don’t even care about sports right now. Because this picture of what I thought was good has exploded.”