Sandusky’s son speaks out about abusive childhood

PHILADELPHIA — Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son Matt spoke out Friday about his two abusive fathers and called sexual abuse the “single worst health epidemic that children face.”

Matt Sandusky, speaking to about 200 people at a conference in Philadelphia on child abuse intervention, said the public must work harder to end child sexual abuse.

“I will work my butt off to create a society that is safe and caring for survivors of child sexual abuse,” he said. ” … This is the single worst health epidemic that children face.”

Sandusky, who founded a nonprofit to raise awareness about child sexual abuse, spoke of his introduction to abuse at a young age, recalling a vague memory of his biological father burning his toes. The grim upbringing continued as his adoptive father subjected him to sexual abuse.

Matt Sandusky met Jerry Sandusky through the former Penn State assistant football coach’s youth charity. He said perpetrators “groom” their family and victims and that he’s sure Jerry Sandusky’s wife was groomed.

“I can’t answer what she did or didn’t know,” he said. “I know that she has walked in on things that most wives would think to be inappropriate for husbands to be doing.”

Dottie Sandusky has maintained her husband did nothing wrong. Last month, she sent reporters a statement that called claims Matt Sandusky made in a documentary a fabrication.

Matt Sandusky came forward with his allegations during the 2012 trial that resulted in a 45-count conviction for his adopted father.

As the trial began, he was part of the group that supported Jerry Sandusky but later disclosed his allegations of abuse to prosecutors. Jerry Sandusky was not charged with abusing him.

Jerry Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

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Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

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