The frustrating lack of justice for sexual assault survivors is enough to make anybody scream. In the case of the infamous Penn State child sex abuse scandal, even the minimum-30 year sentence convicted molester and former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky received feels very low. He repeatedly abused multiple victims for years and was convicted on numerous horrifying accounts. And yet, his wife Dottie Sandusky appeared on TODAY this morning to tell Matt Lauer and the world she’s standing by him.
When asked if she had believed him, Dottie said:
“Do I believe him?’ I definitely believe him. Because if I didn’t believe him, when I testified at trial, I could have not said what I said. I would have had to tell the truth.”
While the pair go down to look at where some of the abuse was said to have taken place, Lauer notes that the house is small, and recalls the testimony of one victim who says he screamed while being abused. Lauer asks Dottie how she could have not heard the victim if he had indeed screamed, and Dottie replies that she couldn’t have because “he didn’t scream.” Er, sorry, but (A) I’m pretty much 100% positive there were multitudes of evidence besides a single scream against Sandusky and (B) TODAY is veering dangerously into the “listen to the abuser, not the victim” game, which fortunately does not last long. It’s apparently tempting to some media outlets to give a voice to those convicted of sexual assault, but Sandusky’s been tried, convicted and imprisoned. Even his own adoptive son says he was abused by the man, so what she says next is pretty much appalling.
“I think it was, they were manipulated, and they saw money. Once lawyers came into the case, they said there was money.”
Hahahaha. And by “hahahaha” I mean, are you kidding me? What is with this absurd idea that being a rape victim is going to earn you a billion dollars and isn’t one of the most traumatizing experiences a human being can go through?
Shockingly, she actually admits to believing that her husband showered with kids:
“I believe he showered with kids. That’s the generation that Jerry grew up in….There were always people coming in and out no matter what time that was.”
Oh, I’m sorry–I didn’t realize 1944 was the year of having inappropriate contact with children as an adult. I know plenty of elderly people born before 1944, and not one of them has ever told me that their generation is all sorts of down with exposing themselves to kids. Sorry, no. Not an excuse. Not a reason. Not a defense.
It’s depressing that Dottie Sandusky is continuing to defend somebody whom there is such an overwhelming amount of evidence against. “I know Jerry” isn’t a good enough reason to belittle the experiences of those who were abused as children, nor to accuse them of simply wanting money. They wanted justice, and they were refused that for so incredibly long that it’s unbelievably disrespectful to comment on their lack of integrity.
Here’s the interview for further viewing/raging purposes.