One of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged victims broke down in tears after hearing him speak on Tuesday.
Sandusky, the central figure in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, told NBC's Bob Costas in a televised phone interview Monday that he "horsed around" with youngsters. A boy identified as Victim 1 reacted emotionally upon hearing the claim, his mother told ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday.
Why the reaction? "He said, 'Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid he'll go free,' " recounted the mother, whose identity is being withheld. Assuring her son, "There's other witnesses, probably more victims out there to come forward yet," the mother urged others with information about the case to come forward and speak.
While several legal experts have subsequently suggested that Sandusky's interview with Costas, in which he acknowledged that he "touched [kids'] legs without intent of sexual contact," could potentially have further damaged his case, the alleged victim's mother told ABC: "It sickened me that he would be on TV trying to downplay his charges. And I think it made him look more guilty."
She also expressed anger that Sandusky termed the activity between himself and her son simple horseplay.
"It's not games," she said. "It's a planned-out strategy to groom children to molest. He definitely shouldn't have showered with those kids. It was sickening, I mean, I don't know anybody – anybody – who when somebody's, like, 50, would get in a shower naked with a 10-year-old."
Making the talk-show rounds himself, Sandusky's attorney, Joseph Amendola, steadfastly maintains his client's innocence. Of the alleged victim, he told ABC News: "The kid is ... now grown up, he's in his 20s. He's adamant that nothing sexual occurred."
On GMA Wednesday, the mother said that since the news of the allegations broke, she and her son have had to go into hiding to protect themselves.
"It makes me really mad that my son can't go out and have a normal life," she said. "[Sandusky] gets to go to the mall and shop and do whatever he wants to do. That aggravates me. He should be in jail."
Come trial, her son is expected to be the prosecution's star witness. "He wants [Sandusky] to go to jail and he wants him to pay for what he's done," she said. "And he doesn't want him on the streets where he can hurt somebody else."