The former Penn State assistant coach accused of having sex with young boys he met through his charity admits in a TV interview that he showered with boys but says he is innocent and not a pedophile.
"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," Jerry Sandusky told NBC News' Bob Costas in an interview Monday night.
When asked whether he was a pedophile, Sandusky responded, "No."
"I say that I am innocent of those charges," he said, though when asked if had done anything wrong, he acknowledged, "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."
Sandusky, 67, has been released on $100,000 bail after being charged with 21 felony counts for allegedly sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. The case has rocked Penn State, which fired President Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno after criticism that they didn't go to police sooner with what they knew about the allegations.
Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz were charged with perjury. Both have denied wrongdoing and have left their university posts. Others who saw alleged child abuse only told their immediate supervisors, according to a grand jury report.
Sandusky's interview comes as police are working to confirm the allegations of an additional 10 suspected victims who have come forward since Sandusky's arrest on Nov. 5 on 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys, according to The New York Times.
In speaking with NBC's Bob Costas during the "Rock Center With Brian Williams" broadcast, Sandusky said the statements of Mike McQuery, the grad assistant who in 2002 reported the alleged rape by Sandusky of a boy in a university shower, as "false." Sandusky also told Costas that the alleged incident of a sex act between the former assistant coach and a young boy, reported by a janitor in 2000, did not happen.
"We were showering and -- and horsing around," said Sandusky of the incident McQuery said he witnessed. "And we were -- as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel, horseplay."
"It seems that if all of these accusations are false, you are the unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about," Costas said.
Sandusky replied: "I don't know what you want me to say. I don't think that these have been the best days of my life."
Sandusky's attorney Joe Amendola says the child involved in the McQuery incident has been located, and will soon refute McQuery's account of what took place.
Sandusky was a defensive coordinator under Paterno until his retirement in 1999, and he continued to frequent the campus through work with The Second Mile, the charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk youths.
Sandusky informed The Second Mile board in November 2008 that he was under investigation. The charity subsequently barred him from activities involving children, charity officials said.
Though he was not particularly close with Paterno, he had remained a familiar sight around the Penn State football complex. He was given an office in the East Area Locker building, across the street from the football building, as part of his retirement package, and would bring Second Mile kids around the football facilities.
Wide receivers coach McQueary, then a graduate assistant, told the grand jury he saw Sandusky sodomizing a boy about 10 years old in a shower at the Nittany Lions' practice center in March 2002. McQueary did not go to police, but instead told Paterno, Curley and Schultz, although it is not clear how detailed his description was.
Schultz, in turn, notified Spanier.
Paterno is not the target of any legal investigation, but he has conceded he should have done more. He and Spanier were fired because trustees felt they had not done enough after the 2002 incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.