(USA Today) Convicted pedophile and former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says he doesn't know if former boss Joe Paterno suspected that he was abusing children.
In tape-recorded interviews from a Pennsylvania prison where he is serving at least 30 years for his conviction on 45 counts of child sex abuse, Sandusky also asserts that key testimony provided by former Penn State coach Michael McQueary "changed a lot."
McQueary testified that he saw Sandusky engaged in sexually charged conduct in a university locker-room in 2001 with a young boy designated by a Pennsylvania grand jury as "Victim 2."
Sandusky tells film-maker John Ziegler, who is involved in a project called "Framing Paterno," that he was merely "fooling around'' with the child and that McQueary had misrepresented "his behavior."
Portions of the interviews aired Monday on NBC's Today show.
Paterno, the university's iconic head coach, was fired shortly after Sandusky was charged in 2011. He died in January 2012, not long after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Ziegler told Today that his "focus is on Paterno."
"I'm trying to get Joe Paterno's day in court," Ziegler said.
McQueary testified that he told Paterno what he saw in the shower that night. Paterno, who was never charged with a crime, said he passed the information along to the university's athletic director and a vice president who oversaw the campus police department. The information, however, was never reported to the police.
Penn State said in a statement Monday that Sandusky's remarks "continue to open wounds for his victims, and the victims of child sexual abuse everywhere."
"We have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly," the statement said. "Penn State continues to take important steps, including the training of over 11,000 employees and volunteers on how to recognize and report suspected child abuse."
Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers described Sandusky's remarks as a "sad and unfortunate development."
"Sandusky had the opportunity to speak, under oath, during his trial and he chose not to do so," Sollers said in a written statement. "Releasing a recording at this time, nearly a year after he was found guilty on 45 counts, is transparently self-serving and yet another insult to the victims and anyone who cares about the truth in this tragic story."
Sollers said that while the family "would prefer to remain silent on this matter ... they feel it is important to make it clear that they had no role in obtaining or releasing this recording. Moreover, they believe that any attempt to use this recording as a defense of Joe Paterno is misguided and inappropriate."
Sandusky's comments come as victims' attorneys and Penn State officials have discussed possible settlements of abuse claims.
Although Sandusky's trial focused on the abuse of 10 young boys during a period of 15 years, attorneys for at least 30 victims have made claims of abuse.
Sandusky is appealing his conviction and continues to deny any wrongdoing.