The former daughter-in-law of Jerry Sandusky blasted a court ruling allowing the accused child molester to visit his grandchildren, reportedly claiming that the former Penn State coach inappropriately touched her son.
Jill Thomas, who was married to Sandusky's son Matt, said on Monday she would continue to fight against Sandusky, 68, being allowed to visit his grandchildren, ABCNews.com reports.
Judge John Cleland on Monday granted Sandusky’s request for relaxed bail terms that allow him to visit with all of his grandchildren except for Thomas’ children, due to her objections.
“I do not believe it is safe for my children, or any children, to be around Jerry Sandusky,” Thomas said.
Sandusky, who faces 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period, said during a hearing last week that his grandchildren had been asking to see or talk to "Pop" on the phone since his arrest.
Thomas said she tried to testify at the hearing last week, but that her testimony was submitted instead as a written summary by the state attorney general to Cleland. In a statement released on Monday, Thomas said the summary did not accurately or completely reflect the danger Sandusky posed to children.
“Although I have kept silent up until now to protect my children and my family’s privacy, I can no longer keep silent about Jerry Sandusky’s request to be permitted to see my children,” Thomas said. “Shortly after news of the child sexual abuse criminal charges against Jerry Sandusky became public, my children reported to me that Jerry Sandusky, their grandfather, had inappropriately touched my son. I was devastated by this news.”
Thomas said she reported her son’s claim to authorities, who determined there was not enough evidence to charge Sandusky with a crime. But a psychologist who worked with her son after the revelation said Sandusky may have been grooming the boy for sexual abuse, Thomas said.
Cleland on Monday also denied prosecutors' requests that Sandusky remain indoors while on home confinement before his trial and ruled that Sandusky can have supervised contact with most of his grandchildren, saying there was no evidence that the children's parents wouldn't be able to keep them safe.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, issued a statement saying Sandusky, his wife and their family were "relieved by and pleased with" the visitation ruling, which pertains to all but three of his 11 grandchildren, ages 2 to 14. Those three children are involved in a custody case, and Cleland deferred decisions about any visits from them to the judge handling that matter.
The court ruling also dismissed a request that Sandusky be banned from the deck in his backyard after neighbors said Sandusky was watching children from his deck.
Cleland has tentatively scheduled the trial to start in mid-May. He said jury selection will be a challenge, given the pretrial publicity and the special role that Penn State plays in the Centre County community.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.