Just when former Penn State players thought that the nightmare was over, more allegations of sexual abuse are resurfacing.
Matthew Sandusky, adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, has come forth with new allegations of sexual abuse against the former Penn State coach. According to an interview with Oprah Winfrey, listening to the testimony of the first victim on the witness stand pushed him to come forth. “His story isn’t his story—it’s my story” says Matthew.
In the Thursday airing of “Oprah Prime”, Matthew said that he recognized pieces of his own experience with sexual abuse through the testimony of victim 4, the first to take the stand against Sandusky during the trial and someone he knew well outside of the courtroom. “That’s where the door really opened up and it kind of just hit me from every single detail that this man is talking about”, he says. At one point during the interview, Winfrey questions Matthew on how people can know that his story is indeed true and not a fabrication or extension of victim 4’s, to which he responds that his story was “well-documented” and “it’s in the record” should anyone choose to investigate further. He also details his abuse in a documentary released earlier this year entitled “Happy Valley”.
Matthew alleges that his stepfather had a “bedtime ritual” at the family home at State College in which he would tickle him, blow on his stomach, and wrestle playfully on the floor as each encounter graduated closer and closer to sexual abuse. Eventually, it reached the point where Sandusky performed oral sex on his stepson, unbeknownst to him at the time.
Two years prior, Matthew had alleged that there was inappropriate touching, but didn’t recall oral sex or penetration in the 29-minute interview police detectives conducted at the time for Sandusky’s 2012 trial. “He’s doing that to you and it’s very confusing, it’s very confusing for you because you have a reaction, you know. It’s something that you at that time you definitely don’t know what’s happening” he told Winfrey during his interview. He claims that he came forward during the 2012 investigation because his story differed from that which he told to an investigative grand jury and wanted to correct the record “So that they can really have closure and see what the truth actually is. And just to right the wrong, honestly, of going to the grand jury and lying”.
From the time the allegations arose and even until now, Matthew’s family denies witnessing the abuse. Though they stand by him in support, his family released an official statement Friday claiming that none of them ever saw abuse or any indication of inappropriate activity. Regardless of the outcome, the process of healing will be far from easy.
Matthew is one of six children adopted by Jerry and his wife. After being placed in foster care in 1995, the Sandusky family adopted him after he turned 18 years old.