Sandusky’s wife defends him: Would you stand by your man?

For the first time yesterday, Dottie (Dorothy) Sandusky spoke out about her husband’s arrests and the more than 50 counts of child sex abuse against him.

From The Associated Press:

“The wife of ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky said Thursday her husband is innocent of the child sex abuse allegations made against him and that his accusers are making up their stories, including one suggesting she was home while Sandusky attacked a boy who screamed for help….”

“She released the statement through her husband’s lawyer a day after a grand jury report detailed claims of two new accusers, among them the testimony of one who said he cried out for her help while Sandusky assaulted him in a basement bedroom.”

” ‘I am so sad anyone would make such a terrible accusation which is absolutely untrue,’ she said. ‘We don’t know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue.’ ”

“Dottie Sandusky, who has raised six adopted children, said she has been “shocked and dismayed” by the claims.”

” ‘I have been devastated by these accusations,’ she said. ‘Our children, our extended family and friends know how much Jerry and I love kids and have always tried to help and care for them. We would never do anything to hurt them.’ “

Here is some background on their marriage from the AP.

“Dottie Sandusky, whose real name is Dorothy, met Jerry Sandusky at a summer picnic in 1965, just before he began his senior year at Penn State, according to his book, “Touched.”

“They married in September 1966 and tried to start a family after he finished graduate school at Penn State, but discovered from doctors that they were not able to have children of their own for reasons that he didn’t specify.”

“Eventually, they adopted six children and the book portrays her as presiding over a bustling house filled with their own children, their children’s friends and children from The Second Mile charity, preparing most family meals and refereeing sibling rivalries.”

” ‘Dottie was the leader,’ his book reads. “’I became another kid for her to supervise as well. As I said before, there was never a dull moment in the Sandusky household, and I don’t think any of us would have wanted things any other way.’ “

So what do you think? Would you stand by your man and defend him? Do you think she’s in denial or after that many years of marriage she knows in her heart her husband wouldn’t hurt a child?

What would you do if your husband were accused of this or other crimes? Would it be harder to stand by your man if it was sex abuse against kids or stealing or murder? Would the severity of the accusations affect your decision to stay or begin divorce proceedings?

(At some points during the day, comments may be held in moderation due to the sensitive nature of this topic.)

36 comments Add your comment

JATL

December 8th, 2011
9:37 pm

Not in this situation -NO! Eyewitnesses, multiple victims -no way! For better or worse to me does NOT include child rape. I would also have to have some real heart-to-hearts with my children, whom he hopefully left alone, but I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with my husband if everything that’s come out about Sandusky came out about him. He would be gone, and I would be getting the quickest divorce and name change I could find.

IF there was a case that was shaky, no eyewitnesses, no multiple accusers, perhaps the accusation coming from a corner who had a grudge to bear or something, then I would bide my time and really do some investigating myself, but if ANYTHING ever came to light that was solid (as are the Sandusky accusations), I would be so done, so fast!

Kat

December 9th, 2011
6:49 am

I know that it is common for predators’ to keep their prey quiet whether by force or fear, but why would a kid who tried to get out of this situation (by calling out to this guy’s wife) go BACK to this guy’s house again? And, why would Sandusky be so foolish as to “use” this same kid again?

Having said that, no I would not stand by him but feel very stupid as to have not noticed it before. I mean, so many victims, all lying? REALLY?

Me

December 9th, 2011
6:52 am

I realize you’re looking for a female perspective as it relates to this particular topic and I obviously don’t qualify as such but I’ll offer an opinion anyway. If this were one isolated case where a single accusation had been made then, yes, I probably would stand behind my spouse. And, of course, there’s always the “innocent until proven guilty” and “due process” concepts which must be followed and, at this point in time, Mr. Sandusky is, by letter of the law, still innocent. With that said, however, I’m just very uncertain that I could “stand by” anyone with this type and number of accusations being levied against them.

Jeff

December 9th, 2011
6:56 am

I’m curious! You know me by now. Where is the outrage for the wife of the Syracuse basketball coach who WATCHED her husband rape a boy and then, to top it off, slept with the victim later when he was “of age”?

Why difference.

lulu

December 9th, 2011
7:24 am

Would I stand by my man if he did that? In a word: No.

Kathleen Clark

December 9th, 2011
7:35 am

His adopted children need to be questioned by Christian counselors, unrelated to politics!

Anj

December 9th, 2011
7:53 am

First stage of Grief is Denial.

“Please don’t let this be real. Don’t let this be happening.”

I hope she moves on to the other stages. Sooner rather than later.

(I suspect Sandusky is quite the smooth talker. The one documented time that he was confronted with his behavior, his response was all regret and self loathing. Not enough regret and self loathing to keep him from allegedly offending again! …but apparently not smooth enough to save his coaching career.)

Augusta

December 9th, 2011
8:01 am

I agree 100% with JATL. No way would I stay. The humiliation alone, would force me to leave the State and assume a new identity…AND I would definately talk to MY kids…..

It’s a sick twisted mind that preys on innocent children.

Misty

December 9th, 2011
8:01 am

What do the victims have to gain by making up a story like this? Nothing. No, I wouldn’t stand by my man!

PJnGA

December 9th, 2011
8:10 am

What I have learned being married the last 20 years, no matter how well you think you know the man you are married to – no matter how much you believe he is not capable of doing some things – you NEVER really KNOW them or what they are capable of doing. Though it is natural to believe the best in him, it is absolutely crushing to find out you were wrong.

TXMom

December 9th, 2011
8:37 am

Divorce, etc. is a very big deal to me, so I’m probably willing to forgive a lot and work on problems in my marriage and will stand by my husband through most things. This, however? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I cannot fathom supporting him if he had done somethign this abhorrent.

She must really and truly think he is innocent (despite the evidence otherwise). I can’t understand why she would be wiling to stand by him if she didn’t. The whole thing turns my stomach.

TXMom

December 9th, 2011
8:37 am

Hey, TWG – stuck in the filter, I think. No idea what I said that triggered it. Heh. :-)

Russ Minshew

December 9th, 2011
8:49 am

The real question is if you were his son, would you let him stand behind you!

JOD

December 9th, 2011
8:58 am

Guess I got censored today.

Becky

December 9th, 2011
9:06 am

I am like JATL..Being that there are so many young men telling almost the same story word for word, I would be gone..Also, the one guy that saw it..Mike ??

No amount of love for a man (or woman) overrides (IMO) love for a child..I know from seeing the news that not all people are like that, but I am..

camille

December 9th, 2011
9:21 am

I agree with JATL…this case is far from shaky so I would not stand there and provide support. I know the vows state “for better or worse” but this is beyond worse……are all these kids not telling the truth???

Becky

December 9th, 2011
9:35 am

@Jeff..I hadn’t heard that about the coach at Syracuse..If that happened, then she as well as him should be sent to prison..As I said, NO amount of love for a man or woman in my opinion overrides abusing a child in any way, shape or form…

K's mom

December 9th, 2011
9:42 am

I think initially, I would want to believe my husband and get the facts. But, like JATL with hard evidence out there I would be gone. I cannot imagine having to sort through all of that and talk to your kids to try to find if they were victims as well.

The syracuse thing is messed up too. I initially thought it was probably a copycat, get rich qucik scheme, but ther more I hear about that the sicker it becomes.

motherjanegoose

December 9th, 2011
9:42 am

I agree with PJ…

in my 52 years, there were people whom I have been taken back by what they did. Abusing children is not forgivable, in my book.

motherjanegoose

December 9th, 2011
9:44 am

comment in moderation …less than 30 words and nothing bad…who knows?

JATL

December 9th, 2011
9:50 am

Yes, Kathleen, because only “Christian” counselors would be able to do a good job. Jewish, Atheist, Hindu or *gasp* Muslim counselors wouldn’t be able to find out if any abuse occurred…

@Jeff- I think the Syracuse b-ball coach’s wife is a disgusting pig! I’m not sure if people are so overloaded still from the Sandusky situation that they just don’t have enough outrage for the Syracuse situation and her, but she’s awful!

oneofeach4me

December 9th, 2011
9:57 am

This is not just one isolated accusation. We are talking at least 10 victims who have come forward at this point and 40 plus charges of abuse.

Would I stand by him? No. Would I have caught on and left WAY before now. YES.

Gut feelings are there for a reason; however not everyone has them or pays attention to them or feeds them. I have learned to live off my instinct and my radar would have been going off WAY before now. I think she knew something was going on that wasn’t right, but just swept her feelings under the rug hoping it would go away. Unfortunately for her and a lot of other victims, it just festered and grew.

jarvis

December 9th, 2011
10:10 am

@Anj, if you’ve heard him speak, you’d know he’s anything but smooth.

His a sociopath that speaks and acts like the sick twisted thing that he is. He’s a bumbling creepy speaker that can’t put together a coherent sentence.

His wife is in pure and simple denial. She thinks her husband is telling the truth and about 20 other people are lying.

Fred

December 9th, 2011
10:15 am

I can’t comment since I don’t have a man to stand behind :)

I’m just waiting for the elf pictures……….

JOD

December 9th, 2011
10:31 am

@Jeff – Oops, I got my wives confused (if my comment ever comes out purgatory). I guess I can’t keep up with all the perp activity! I stand by my statement that I don’t believe she didn’t know it was going on, however. All those overnight trips and visits to their house and she never heard/saw anything?

Jeff

December 9th, 2011
11:42 am

My comment is still in moderation, but I want to be clear about something. The VAST majority of you on here are amazing women that care, have a conscience, and are doing the best you humanly can. that’s why I come back. But we as reasonable people have an obligation to call out the insane so others don’t think it’s acceptable.

x

December 9th, 2011
11:50 am

Really?

December 9th, 2011
1:07 pm

The report read how domineering Sandusky was in his actions with these boys. He has a sick need for control. There is a good chance this is why this woman is in such denial. He very well could be the same way with her. After 20 years, she may just think their relationship is normal.

Becky

December 9th, 2011
1:16 pm

@jarvis..I thought the same thing when I heard him speak..He is flat out creepy…

Tumble weed hair

December 9th, 2011
2:06 pm

My comments keep disappearing.

Kat

December 9th, 2011
3:17 pm

I suspect some comments take longer to post than others due to the subject matter. With a topic like this, I’d prefer some extra monitoring in advance. This guy is disgusting. The wife is no better!

Nice Pear

December 9th, 2011
4:03 pm

Again, the uptight brigade rules.

Why oh why do you crate a blog on a emotionally charged subject, then freak out and delete most of the comments? I asked this before, only to see it disappear.

MomsRule

December 9th, 2011
4:35 pm

No way in h e double hockey sticks would I stand by my husband. And, as another poster mentioned, I like to think that I would have seen signs long before now.

Is she in denial? Maybe. Or she just doesn’t care (there are some sick women in the world too). Or she has been abused as well.

Jeff, re Syracuse basketball, I hadn’t heard anything about that case. I’ll have to look it up. But if what you say is correct, it is no different. She should be charged as well IMO.

catlady

December 9th, 2011
8:28 pm

One charge, I would separate. Give it time and massive counseling until an end is reached. Two charges, no way in h3ll he would be alone with our kids, or me.

Can you imagine the personal civil liability this man will face, in addition to jail time and the on-going public humiliation? She’d better divorce him fast, so maybe she will have a pot to pee in!

irisheyes

December 9th, 2011
9:36 pm

I wouldn’t need a divorce lawyer. I might, however, need a criminal attorney since my reaction would save the state a bunch of money in prosecuting him. This guy (and the one in Cherokee Co, who killed the 7 year old) don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us.

Anj

December 10th, 2011
12:46 pm

“We don’t know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue.”

Interesting phrasing. First notice the “we”. It seems obvious from the context that she is either using a Royal We, or including her husband (/family?). It also seems obvious that she does NOT speak for her husband. He has already lawyered up, and while he has denied the charges(SOP), I haven’t seen/heard him call the alleged victims liars.

There is more than a hint of “Why are THEY doing this to US?” in that statement. Playing the victim is not uncommon, but I have to wonder why SHE is doing it. The grand jury testimony I have seen does not implicate her, even indirectly. Certainly she was aware of the amount of time he spent with various boys (others did, from school employees to parents).

She shouldn’t have anything personally to lose from the legal proceedings.
(aside from loss of assets from civil suits and her husband’s earnings)
I don’t see anything currently that would indicate she is at risk of losing her personal liberty.

So….I wonder if there is cause for her to be entangled in the criminal legal proceedings. It doesn’t seem likely ATM, since most of the contact between Sandusky and the boys seems to have occurred with a minimum others being present.

So….either major Denial, or some serious CYA.