Childrearing

Matt Sandusky Gets A Dose Of Victim-Blaming From His Dad’s Defense Attorney

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Even though the verdict has been handed down and Jerry Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, there’s still plenty going on in the Penn State scandal. Former university employees are being charged with trying to cover up the assistant coach’s heinous crimes. More victims of his abuse are still stepping forward. And the story of Sandusky’s adopted son Matt has been uncovered by NBC News.

In an audio interview with police detectives, Matt Sandusky shared his disturbing tale of life at the Sandusky household. I should warn you that the details are unsettling.

During the discussion, a copy of which The Today Show obtained, Matt talks about curling up in the fetal position and pretending to sleep when his father entered his room so that the man wouldn’t touch him. He recalls Sandusky blowing raspberries on his stomach and touching his genitals. And then he discusses the damage the abuse did to him as a young man, finally admitting that, “I really know I wanted to die at that point in time.”

Matt did attempt suicide shortly after moving in with the Sandusky family. He says the abuse went on from the ages of 8 – 15, and that he was later adopted by Jerry and Dottie at the age of 18. The grown man is now seeking counseling to work through his issues, stemming from the abuse he received as a child. He admits that he doesn’t remember everything and might be “blocking out” some painful details of his adolescence.

Almost more disturbing than the abuse of Matt Sandusky is the family and legal team’s reaction to his stepping forward. Even on the day that the verdict was announced, I remember the defense lawyer maintaining that the family would all testify against Matt Sandusky and in favor of their patriarch. They called him “troubled” and said that he had “problems” since before he was taken in by the Sandusky family. Of course, Jerry specifically chose children from his Second Mile charity who would be seen as “troubled” and more less credible witnesses.

Defense lawyer Karl Rominger says they “Absolutely [do] not” believe Matt’s claims of abuse. He says that Jerry Sandusky is pacing his prison cell, ready to set the record straight and still proclaiming his innocence. Rominger states that, “I dont think Jerry believes he has anything to feel sorry for.”  More than anything, that should probably tell us how sick this man is.

Our hearts all go out to Matt Sandusky. It’s impossible to imagine the courage it takes to step forward without any support from your family. It’s disgusting to see the way Sandusky’s lawyers are specifically attacking and attempting to discredit Matt. Victim-blaming is obviously not just a problem for female survivors. Defense lawyers have been trying to paint victims as “unstable” or “troubled” for decades. Let’s hope it doesn’t work here.

(Photo: Stacie Stauff Smith Photography/Shutterstock)

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