Dottie Sandusky, wife of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, wrote a letter to Judge John Cleland after her husband was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse earlier this year; now, her words have been released to the public, and they are shocking to many who view the couple as victim-blamers.
In the letter, Dottie defends her husband and herself, saying that if she had witnessed any wrongdoing on his part, she would have stepped up and said something. While that's not entirely surprising, what has everyone reeling is the accusations she levels against their adopted son, Matt--who is one of Sandusky's accusers--and against the young men who came forward with their stories, saying Sandusky never did anything but go out of his way to help them. In defending her husband, she comes off sounding bitter at these boys who seem to be ungrateful for everything the couple did for them, and that could be a problem for her once the letter makes its rounds on the web.
Dear Judge Cleland:
I am Dottie Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky's wife of 46 years in September. It is with a heavy heart I write this to you. I have known Jerry for 47 years and he has always been truthful with me, even if it hurt. He is a very up front man and a man of very high morals.
Jerry always put others before himself and always wanted to make each person feel special no matter who they were. Like all of us he has his faults, one is he cares so much for people always wanting them to reach their potential. Therefore he pushes them hard. One 42 year old man who was in the Second Mile stopped by the other day and told me how thankful he is to Jerry for pushing him to be the best he could be. He said, "What I learned from Jerry has made me a better husband and father." This is a young man who had many strikes against him.
Jerry was a wonderful father to our six children. We thank God each day for bringing them into our life. He treated each one as if they were our biological children. Our house was a fun house with lots of games, picnics, laughs and caring. There were always lots of people around whether it was friends of our kids, Second Mile kids or neighbors.
I never saw him doing anything inappropriate to any child, if I had, as a Mother and Grandmother I would have taken action. Jerry is not the monster everyone is making him out to be.
Many times he would give up much of his free time, which was not many hours when he was a coach, to make a sporting event of one of the kids he was trying to help. Sometimes we would drive two hours to spend time with these kids.
One of the accusers called Jerry and said he could not do his school work because his computer broke and Jerry found a used computer that someone was not using and gave it to him. Fact is most of the things he gave to the accusers were used or given to him by people who wanted to help these young men.
I use to believe in our protective system, but now have no faith in the police or legal system. To think that they can lie and get by with the lies. The press has been unbelievable. People who have not met us are writing untruths.
As far as our son Matt goes, people need to know what kind of person he is. We have forgiven him many times for all he has done to our family thinking that he was changing his life, but he would always go back to his stealing and lies. He has been diagnose with Bipolar, but he refuses to take his medicine. He has had many run-ins with the law and stolen money and items from our family. We still love him and want the best for him, but because of his actions we cannot express this to him.
I pray each day that God will give me the strength to do what is right and that I will be able to hold our family together.
Thank you for listening.
Dorothy D. Sandusky
Sandusky wrote his own letter, which had a similar tone: "Nobody mentioned the impact of abandonment, neglect, abuse, insecurity and conflicting messages that the biological parents might have had in this."
"Sentencing is a time to ask for mercy, not to attack others," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor. "In my experience, judges really hate letters that try to shift the blame to others or which belittle the victims or the court."