Matt Sandusky Feared Perjury Charge over Grand Jury Testimony
(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) — The adopted son of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky detailed claims of sex abuse in a 25-minute audio tape with police, but he also worried about a perjury charge because he told a grand jury nothing inappropriate ever happened.
Karl Rominger, one of Jerry Sandusky’s defense attorneys, confirmed for ABC News the existence of the audio tape.
“As a general rule it’s a tape of Matt (Sandusky) making the allegations. I don’t feel comfortable going into specifics about what he says, but I’ll say that he is an alleged victim, so that will tell you some,” said Rominger, who has listened to the audio recording of the interview.
The recording shows Matt Sandusky, whom Jerry and Dottie Sandusky adopted in his teenage years, hesitating to talk about the abuse allegations because he had previously said under oath that his father had not molested him, Rominger said.
“The problem is,” Rominger said, quoting Matt Sandusky from the audio tape, “‘I don’t want to get into trouble for perjury’… because he previously said other things.”
He then goes on, however, to detail allegations which Rominger said echo those of other alleged victims, specifically those represented by Matt Sandusky’s attorney, Andrew Shubin. Shubin represents the men known as Victim 3 and Victim 7 in court documents.
“It seems like that story magically tracks one of Shubin’s clients’ stories,” Rominger said. “A lot of these kids seem to have this kind of magnetic memory that comes back over time. (Matt’s) comes back all of a sudden.”
A source close to the state’s investigation confirmed the existence of the audio recording to ABC.
Matt Sandusky came to prosecutors during the first week of the trial to say that he, too, had been molested by his father. Prior to that, Matt had been a staunch supporter of the former Penn State football coach, who took him in when he was a teenager and later adopted him. Matt was listed as a witness for the defense at the beginning of the trial.
After meeting with him on Thursday, prosecutors notified the defense that Matt Sandusky could be called as a rebuttal witness before the trial’s completion. Defense attorneys cited that fact as the reason for not putting Jerry Sandusky on the stand to defend himself, lest the prosecutors then call Matt Sandusky to talk about his own alleged abuse.
Matt Sandusky has so far declined to go public with his allegations, though Shubin released a statement saying that Matt was a victim of his father.
Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child sex abuse on Friday night following a two-week trial that saw eight men testify against him about being molested. One man, known as Victim 4, said that when Sandusky began a soap fight with the boy in a Penn State locker room shower one day, Matt Sandusky left quickly and acted “nervous.”
Matt Sandusky watched only the first day of the trial before he was sequestered as a possible witness for the defense.
Sandusky’s attorneys began discussing a possible appeal of the guilty verdicts just moments after leaving the courthouse Friday.
Sandusky’s lead lawyer Joseph Amendola told ABCNews.com today that it was “not definite” that he would stay on to handle the appeal, but said, “I anticipate I’ll be a witness for Jerry on his appeal.”
Rominger confirmed that he planned to stay on for the appeal process.
The appeals process cannot begin until Sandusky is sentenced, which Judge John Cleland said would take approximately 90 days. The process is then a lengthy and expensive one, noted Jules Epstein, a law professor and attorney at Widener University in Pennsylvania. If Sandusky’s estate is the subject of multiple civil actions, it is unclear if or how he will be able to afford to mount an appeal.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio