Prosecutors may present unaired portions of NBC News' Sandusky interview
By Michael Isikoff, NBC News
Pennsylvania prosecutors may seek to use unaired portions of an NBC News interview with Jerry Sandusky in November in which the former Penn State defensive coach said, "I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I've helped."
The unaired portions of the "Rock Center with Brian Williams" interview-- conducted by NBC Sports host Bob Costas -- could become an issue this week as Sandusky's lawyers start presenting their defense to charges that he repeatedly abused 10 young boys over a 15 year period.
On Friday, a prosecutor from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office contacted an NBC News lawyer asking the network to re-authenticate a full unedited transcript of the Costas interview. Because the network had already released the transcript, and it had been published on a Pennsylvania news website, the network agreed.
The unaired portions of the Costas interview include an exchange about Sandusky's work with young people. Sandusky founded a charity for troubled kids, called The Second Mile, and, according to prosecutors, he met every one of his alleged victims through the charity.
"I'm a very passionate person in terms of trying to make a difference in the lives of some young people," Sandusky said in the interview. "I worked very hard to try to connect with them. To make them feel good about themselves. To be something significant in their lives. Maybe this gets misinterpreted, has gotten depending on. … I know a lot of young people where it hasn't. I have worked with many, many young people where there has been no misinterpretation of my actions and I have made a very significant difference in their lives."
Costas then challenged Sandusky.
"But isn't what you're just describing the classic MO of many pedophiles?" he asked. "And that is that they gain the trust of young people, they don't necessarily abuse every young person. There were hundreds, if not thousands of young boys you came into contact with, but there are allegations that at least eight of them were victimized. Many people believe there are more to come. So it's entirely possible that you could've helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable while horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E. Isn't that possible?"
Sandusky replied: "Well -- you might think that. I don't know. In terms of -- my relationship with so many, many young people. I would -- I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward. Many more young people who would come forward and say that my methods and -- and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life. And I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I've helped. There are many that I didn't have -- I hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways."
NBC News legal analyst Wes Oliver said that Sandusky's reply to Costas complicates his defense. It also could provide fodder for prosecutors if Sandusky decides to take the witness stand this week and testify in his defense.
"A reasonable interpretation of that statement is that he did in fact have sexual contact with these young men he supposedly helped," Oliver said.
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