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After staying silent for more than six months Dottie Sandusky broke her silence on June 19 in defense of her husband, assistant coach for the Penn State football team Jerry Sandusky. Jerry Sandusky has been charged with forty-eight counts (four counts were dismissed) of sexual abuse with ten different victims and will serve five hundred years in prison if found guilty.
Dottie Sandusky, born Dorothy Gross, met Sandusky in Washington, Pennsylvania and the couple got married shortly thereafter in 1966. They were unable to have children of their own so they adopted six children together. She maintains her husband’s innocence and claims that she never heard or saw anything suspicious.
Paul DerOhannesian, a defense attorney from Albany, New York, claimed that Dottie Sandusky would provide, ‚Äúa more favorable image of Sandusky as someone attracted to his wife, as someone who had a genuine care and interest in children, and to portray more elements of Sandusky’s life than the jury has heard.‚ÄĚ
However, after the witness testimony from the defense¬†many agree with experts that she may have been unaware or in denial of the abuse. Dr. Martin Finkel, a pediatrician who has worked for more than thirty years with sexually abused children, says that Dottie Sandusky could be denying her suspicions because she is afraid of the humiliation and the loss of financial security. Finkel added, ‚Äúnone of this stuff that happens to kids ever happens in the public arena. It always has to happen in the context of secrecy. It has to happen out of sight. The intent on the part of the perpetrator obviously is not to get caught.‚ÄĚ
Several victims have mentioned Dottie Sandusky in their testimonies. Victim 9 claimed that he screamed for help during at least one of the abuses from Sandusky while he was in the basement of the Sandusky home. Victim 9 claims that he stayed in the Sandusky home basement around one hundred times during which time Sandusky fondled him, forced him to have oral sex, and raped him. Dottie Sandusky said that not only did she never hear anything but that the basement is not soundproofed at all and that she has good hearing, implying that Victim 9, now eighteen, is lying.
Another victim claimed that Dottie Sandusky walked in on Jerry Sandusky trying to force the victim to perform oral sex in a hotel bathroom at Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Dottie Sandusky claims that the victim is lying and that they both were fully clothed.
After nine days of trial the jury began deliberations on June 21. Since the jury has forty-eight counts of abuse to sift through they will probably be deliberating for quite a long time.