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March 12, 2014

Sandusky's wife: Victims manipulated over money

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says she "definitely" believes her husband is innocent despite being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and that the victims' financial gain was at play.

Dottie Sandusky said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show that "there was nothing that went on because I was here" in the couple's small home in State College, where some of the victims reported being abused in the basement.

Although one accuser said his muffled screams went unheard by her upstairs, Sandusky heard nothing "because he didn't scream," she said after giving interviewer Matt Lauer a tour of the house. "It's not a dungeon," she noted of the basement.

She denied any suggestion that she was a "weak spouse" who enabled her husband and said she believes his accusers had been manipulated.

"I think it was, they were manipulated, and they saw money," she said. "Once lawyers came into the case, they said there was money."

In October, Penn State announced it was paying nearly $60 million to settle abuse claims by 26 young men. It's not clear how many suits are still pending against the university following those settlements.

Sandusky said in the interview recorded Monday that she believed that her husband showered with children but "that's the generation that Jerry grew up in."

She insisted the encounters went no further: "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."

Sandusky, who testified for about 40 minutes during her husband's 2012 trial, also disputed a police investigator's account of a statement by her husband following a 1998 complaint by a mother who said Jerry Sandusky had showered with her son.

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