By MICHAEL RUBINKAM
She’s been a constant, if silent, presence by Jerry Sandusky’s side.
Dottie Sandusky had not spoken publicly in more than six months until taking the witness stand Tuesday to proclaim her husband’s innocence in his child sex-abuse trial.
Critics say she also stood quietly by while Sandusky – the once-revered Penn State assistant football coach – molested boys in the basement of their State College home. They say she must have known, or at least suspected, and looked the other way out of allegiance to the man with whom she’d spent decades of her life and adopted six children.
In fact, sex offenders are typically adept at concealing their proclivities, even from those closest to them, and spouses are often in the dark about what’s going on in the bedroom down the hall, according to experts in child sexual abuse.
“None of this stuff that happens to kids ever happens in the public arena. It always has to happen in the context of secrecy. It has to happen out of sight. The intent on the part of the perpetrator obviously is not to get caught,” said Dr. Martin Finkel, a pediatrician with 30 years of experience treating abused children.
Jerry Sandusky, 68, is charged with 51 counts of abuse involving 10 accusers. Prosecutors say he met his victims through the charity he and his wife founded, groomed them, and sexually abused them in motels, in his home and in the Penn State football building. He denies all the charges, and his attorney suggests the accusers are making up stories in hopes of a civil case jackpot.