Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty Images
In his first interview since his Nov. 5 arrest on 40 counts of child sex abuse, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky admitted Monday that he showered and "horsed around with kids" but maintained that he was not a pedophile.
"I am innocent of those charges," the 67-year-old told Bob Costas on NBC News’s Rock Center. "I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact."
Sandusky later added: "In retrospect, you know, I shouldn’t have showered with those kids."
The grand jury report detailing the charges against Sandusky claims that he abused eight boys in his home, at various hotels and at Penn State's practice facility. The New York Times reports that as many as 10 additional victims have come forward since Sandusky’s arrest.
When Costas bluntly asked the alleged child rapist if he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky noticeably paused for a moment before responding: "Am I sexually attracted to underage boys? Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people. I, I love to be around them. I, I ... but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
On Tuesday, Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, told NBC that Sandusky's interactions with children, inappropriate as some may have been, do not mean that he is guilty.
"The easy answer is he didn’t use a whole lot of common sense because obviously he had the warning in the late ‘90s, in the 1998 situation, and certainly should’ve ceased it then,’" Amendola said on the Today show. "I’ve grilled him on that many times, but showering with kids doesn’t make him guilty.’"