Matt Sandusky Details His Abuse

Matt Sandusky was supposed to testify on Jerry Sandusky’s behalf during the latter’s trial. Jerry faced over four dozen charges of sexual violence against ten different boys. Matt’s testimony was meant to demonstrate Jerry’s good character. Instead, Matt decided against testifying. At the time it was somewhat surprising to see the immediate shift as he was scheduled to testify the day he changed his mind. It soon became apparent, however, why he decided against it.

Matt accused Jerry of grooming and abusing him the same way Jerry had groomed and abused other boys. Matt recently spoke about what happened, specifically what led him to Jerry Sandusky’s home. The Sanduskys adopted Matt when he was 18-years-old, however, the grooming process began long before that.

Matt faced abuse at the hands of his biological father and grandfather. His grandfather would beat then six-year-old Matt with a broom handle and tell him to “own it” and not cry. According to Matt, this taught him to “keep my mouth shut”. That lesson would be something he would remember when Jerry Sandusky began abusing him:

In school, a guidance counselor recommended he attend the Second Mile, Jerry Sandusky’s children’s charitable organization. He went to Second Mile’s camp. The children slept in the Penn State dorms at University Park; they ate good food, played in the pool and attended nightly meetings.

“It was a great program. I helped me a lot,” Matt Sandusky said. “It was also the place where I met the man who would sexually abuse me.”

Jerry Sandusky singled out the shy little boy, asking him about his family, playing with him in the pool, bringing him up to the front of the room during meetings to share jokes. Then the coach asked the boy if he wanted to go to a Penn State football game in the fall.

It was heady stuff for a poor child from Central Pennsylvania.

Jerry Sandusky was grooming him for what would come later, Matt Sandusky said.

Matt Sandusky, a child from a dysfunctional family where he was not hugged or kissed, didn’t know how to react when Jerry Sandusky took him for car rides and put his hand on his knee leaving it there. It felt wrong, but maybe this was what normal was, the child thought.

Jerry Sandusky gave him Penn State gear, took him to football games. They worked out in the gym, which lead to the man and boy wrestling around on the floor. There were showers, with Jerry Sandusky soaping up the boy, rubbing up against him and becoming sexually aroused. Eventually there was sex.

As he had learned earlier, Matt Sandusky said he kept his mouth shut and told no one what was going on.

Matt eventually turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the abuse. He also described burning himself with a metal object for an emotional release. His behavior became erratic as the abuse continued. According to Matt, his guidance counselor inadvertently facilitated the abuse by pulling the now teenage Matt out of class whenever Jerry wanted him.

Eventually Matt and his cousin would set fire to a truck’s glove box. This grew into a large fire that burned the truck and a barn. Matt faced charges for arson. Jerry Sandusky stepped in and spoke with a judge. He offered Matt two options: go to juvenile prison or live with the Sanduskys.

Matt chose the latter:

Living with the Sandusky family offered him the opportunity of a better life, but the sex abuse continued, he said.

At 17 years old, Matt Sandusky said he had a relationship with a girl also living with the family. They decided to commit suicide, first taking pills. When that didn’t work, they decided to die in a car by carbon monoxide poisoning.

When the girl became sick, Matt Sandusky said he drove them both to the hospital. He woke up in a hospital bed to find Jerry Sandusky there.

“You couldn’t even kill yourself right,” Matt Sandusky remembers his abuser saying.

Normally I do not highlight people’s stories like this, however, I think it is important for people to see what this looks like, particularly when the victim is an older teenage boy. As a society we assume that teen boys are basically men and therefore capable of protecting themselves. We forget that all their strength means nothing if they are taught, like Matt was, to shut up and take it. Those lessons do not disappear when one grows older. The same fear and submissiveness remain even if the boy becomes larger and stronger than his abuser.

It also does not factor in the bonds that victims often have with their abusers. Jerry Sandusky is likely one of the first people to ever be outright kind to Matt. This is true of many abusers. In many instances outside of the sexual abuse, they are very kind and caring towards their victims. In cases where the victim grew up with the abuser, this person is family. It is not easy to turn on one’s family. It is even harder if this is the only life the victim knows. For them the abuse is normal and not necessarily even abuse.

We must remember these things when we judge boys for not coming forward. They are not always in a position to be able to tell, let alone can they assume that if they tell they will be believed. The latter is something we still deal with as people find it hard to accept that boys can be victims.

Matt mentioned to the crowd that he does not like talking about his experiences in front of strangers. I completely understand that on a practical and personal level. I do not enjoy it either. However, when I do speak about my experiences, I do it for the same reasons Matt does:

“I do this to be a voice, to speak for those who can’t speak,” Matt Sandusky said.

That is the purpose of this blog, and it is the reason why I will occasionally speak about what I went through. At any given point, at least one of the men or boys in the same room with you is victim of abuse. Letting them know that they are not the only one and that it is safe to talk about it if they want to is one of the best things anyone can do to help victims of abuse.

13 thoughts on “Matt Sandusky Details His Abuse

  1. Father and grandfather, inter-generational abuse just like Erin Pizzey describes. What year did Matt meet Sandusky? Must have been in the early 90’s?

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  3. What year did Matt meet Sandusky? Must have been in the early 90’s?

    Matt is 37, so it appears somewhere between the late 80’s and early 90’s. He would have been adopted by the Sanduskys in 1996.

  4. That means Matt was one year old when Oprah had the first and last show for men who were sexually abused as children. Think how differently his life may have turned out had women like Oprah included boys as victims and women as enablers (like Dottie S.), co-abusers and primary abusers. That show was in 1987. Think if she provided the whole truth instead of half a lie, how many boys involved with just the Sandusky and priest debacles might have come forward that much sooner. How many boys wouldn’t have been molested at all because other boys came forward to stop an abuser ten, twenty years earlier.
    The Queen of Talk owes the public an apology.

  5. “That means Matt was one year old when Oprah had the first and last show for men who were sexually abused as children.”

    Actually, it wasn’t. You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. See link. Looks like you are making crap up just to bash women. Typical of MRA types

    “How many boys wouldn’t have been molested at all because other boys came forward to stop an abuser ten, twenty years earlier.”

    So Oprah is to blame for the fact that a victim didn’t come forward? Good lord, you are so stupid it hurts. You attack Oprah for things she never did, ignoring the fact that Matt has praised Oprah for the interview she did with him.

    What’s funny is that if a woman accused a man of molesting her, you’d say she was lying.

  6. Your citation is of Oprah’s “200 Man Show” in 2010. I was on the first show for men in 1987 with Mike Lew. I was first to speak from the studio audience. My point is if Oprah, as well as the mainstream media, continued to include boys in the national discussion of childhood sexual abuse, boys abused by priests or Sandusky, including Matt, would have had the verbal skills and encouragement to tell. She never mentioned men as victims or females as perpetrators again.
    Even her lame 200 Man Show didn’t include female perpetrators. The ’87 show had a woman call in because she had been abused and was afraid of abusing her target age nephew. All the guys on the panel said “go to any woman’s shelter.” That WAS in 1987. It’s even in Kitty Kelly’s book. LOOK IT UP.
    By the way, Oprah was abandoned by her mother. She was lucky to be raised by her grandparents. Her two step-siblings died from drugs. Her mother locked her out of the house when the grandparents couldn’t care for her anymore, because of old age and illness. That’s called isolationist malnurturing, deliberately putting a child in harms way. Her mother may have even gotten drug money pimping her girl. That would be opportunist malnurturing. How do you think children end up in pornography.
    I’m sure Matt would feel differently about Oprah if he realized she knowingly threw male victims under the bus for 23 years, the whole time he was being abused, and then pretended the first show never existed. She stated that clearly.
    She lied or she is stupid. There is no other excuse other than pandering abused boys for feminist politics and/or ratings.

  7. Ke:

    Actually, it wasn’t. You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. See link. Looks like you are making crap up just to bash women. Typical of MRA types

    I do not recall the 1987 show. I was four years old at the time, so even had I seen it I would not remember anything about ti. You are correct that Oprah has done other shows including male victims. I fail to see how Rev’s comment bashes women or makes him a “typical MRA type”. If you watch the 2010 show, you will see men mentioning the stigmas they face. Most of them are based around people’s failure to understand what abused males experiences. Rev has a point: had women like Oprah spent as much time talking about male victims as they had female victims, some of those stigmas could have been challenged. Oprah had a massive platform for three decades. Had she covered the topic more often, maybe some male victims would have reported their abuser or sought help. Whether you like the point or not, it is valid. By painting sexual violence as something that only happens to women, people like Oprah made it harder for male victims to speak up.

    Yes, Matt praised Oprah for her interview. That does not change that for the most part Oprah did not mention male victims on her show.

  8. Just to be clear, post-1987 Oprah never mentioned boys as victims or women as perpetrators ever again in her entire television career. Until the 200 Man Show. That show was two hours long and spent a great deal of time on the priest debacle. Again, seems kind of hypocritical considering she could have prevented much of it had she been honest 23 years earlier about child abuse. And somehow in two hours there was not one mention of women as abusers, co-abusers and enablers. Not one. Geez, she could have at least mentioned Mary Kay Letourneau. Oh, that’s right, that child rapist is a folk hero to a lot of Oprah’s audience thanks to the thorough exploitation of her pal Barbara Walters. She even paid for Mary and Villi’s wedding. You go girls!
    I wonder if Matt would still praise Oprah knowing her words could have helped stop his abuse but deliberately chose to say nothing to help boys. She even says on the 200 Man Show, “men are finally ready to come forward and talk to me.” What an arrogant, egotistical hypocrite. Once more, ratings, feminist politics or stupidity…

  9. My personal feeling is that Oprah would never have done the “200 Man Show” if not for Tyler Perry cutting a deal for her to use his movie studio to film the extremely misandrist, “For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide.” A film so hateful towards men the writers actually had to invent a positive male character in the script before he would let them begin production. Glad to say the film bombed.
    Had Tyler Perry not been forthright about his own sexual abuse, and not happened to own one of the largest film studios in Hollywood, I don’t think the “200 Man Show” ever would have happened.
    She had her chance and she blew it big-time. Allowing for boys to be abused is misandry seething down to children.

  10. Oprah had all the facts laid out in 1987 yet denied male access to healing for 20 years, till 2006..
    @TS: “While Oprah’s attempt at bring the issue to the forefront should be applauded, once the show was over I was left feeling that Oprah sympathized more with these child rapists, having presented these women as victims, and not the boys.”
    The only show she did that was the least bit informative about female offenders was the Gregg Milligan episode. His mother molested him for years. Oprah claimed to be shocked that a mother would molest. There was a woman who was molested by her mother with our little group of activists way back in ’87. There was also a man molested by his mother who didn’t show up that day. She knew that. She was shocked in 2010 that 1 in 6 boys are molested. She was also “shocked” in 1987 to hear 1 in 5 boys are molested. Playing the 1987 show along with the 2010 show makes her look absolutely terrible.
    Oprah is a ratings whore.The only reason she mentioned boys at all in 2006 is because by then the damage was already done. Largely thanks to her silence in deliberately shrouding the issue.. By 2006 the priest debacle was unavoidable. Barbara Walter’s sympathetic exploitation of child rapist Mary Kay Letourneau started in 1997 and popularized female statutory rape. Again, by 2006 the issue was unavoidable so Oprah puts another sympathetic spin on female perps.

  11. I forget about the female predator show My reaction was the same as yours and I dismissed it as soft selling female perps.. But other than the article in “O” she mentioned boys being abused on the two shows about abusive teachers and then Gregg Milligan. That’s three shows total, all within her last few years on the air.
    Too little too late. Historically speaking, her distortions really fucked-up a lot of people.

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