A son of Jerry Sandusky, the former longtime Penn State football assistant who was convicted in the school’s child sexual-abuse scandal, was arrested Monday by Pennsylvania State Police and charged with sexually abusing a pair of sisters who were 15 and 16 when the incidents took place.
Jeffrey Sandusky, 41, was arraigned in Bellefonte, Pa., located near the Penn State campus, and charged with 14 counts, including statutory sexual assault. One of six children adopted by Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, Jeffrey Sandusky had been living with the girls’ mother for five years until November, when she confronted him about text messages he had sent one of the girls, according to a police affidavit.
The next day, the girls’ father showed state troopers some of the text messages, which he had received as screen shots and which had been sent by Sandusky to the then-16-year-old (identified as “Victim 1”) over two days in March. Some of the texts asked her to send Sandusky naked photos, and he told her it wasn’t “weird” because he had “studied medicine.”
The girl didn’t tell her parents initially, because, per the affidavit, Sandusky made her mother “happy,” but she did tell her older sister (identified as “Victim 2”). That sister then told Victim 1 that Sandusky had done “the same type of thing” to her in March 2013, requesting oral sex when she was 15 at the time.
Victim 1 told police that she got in the habit of taking showers while Sandusky was at work or otherwise out of the house, because she “does not feel safe with him there.” She said that he “kept pressuring” her to “not show the texts to anyone and to erase them.”
In one text exchange the state troopers said they saw, Sandusky told Victim 1 that he and she needed to talk to “get things straightened out.” She replied, “No, we don’t need to talk and we aren’t going to. You did what you did and I’m not going to give you a chance to try and justify it.”
In 2012, Jerry Sandusky was in a Bellefonte courtroom when he was given a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison, after having been convicted of 45 counts of sexually abusing boys over a number of years on Penn State’s campus. The scandal rocked the school and led to the firing of revered head coach Joe Paterno; he died a few months later and remains a polarizing figure at the school.
Jeffrey Sandusky defended his father, now 71, as “innocent” in a 2015 interview with Bleacher Report. “Dad himself says he had boundary issues, meaning that he’d put a hand around your shoulder, he’d have his hand on my leg,” Sandusky said. “Can that be taken the wrong way? Yes, and I get it. But he was not doing it to be a creeper, a perv. No, he was doing it to say I care about you.”
That article also featured comments from another of the Sanduskys’ adopted children, Matt, who had accused Jerry Sandusky of molesting him for many years.
According to the girls’ mother, per the affidavit, Jeffrey Sandusky had said that he was trying to help by getting naked pictures of her daughter (Victim 1) off the Internet and needed similar pictures of the girl to do it “and to ‘role play.'” The mother did not believe that any such photos existed on the Internet and told Sandusky that his texts were “f—– up.”
Sandusky allegedly told the mother that he knew what he had done was “wrong and inappropriate.” Victim 2 told police that, when she learned of Sandusky’s texts to her sister, she “tore into him.” She said he told her, “I can’t even say anything except I’m sorry.”
Sandusky is being held on $200,000 bail. His other charges include solicitation of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, solicitation to photograph or depict sexual acts, sexual abuse of children and corruption of minors.