Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky insisted in an interview Monday night he is "innocent" of charges that he sexually abused young boys, denying to NBC's Bob Costas that he's a pedophile.
In a telephone interview with NBC's Rock Center With Brian Williams, Sandusky admitted that some details in the graphic 23-page grand jury report released earlier this month are correct.
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"I could say I have done some of those things," he said. "I have horsed around with kids I have showered (with) after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact."
Still, Sandusky claimed he has been falsely accused of crimes. When pressed, the 67-year-old Sandusky said the only thing he did wrong was having "showered with those kids."
The stunning allegations led to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno and the departure of other officials because they didn't promptly contact police after accusations surfaced.
The national spectacle has outraged and embarrassed Penn State students and alumni. An alumni-led effort has raised $372,000 for abuse victims in less than a week, a Twitter message said on Tuesday.
Investigations have been launched by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, the U.S. Department of Education, Penn State and Second Mile, the charity founded by Sandusky.
Costas asked probing questions in his interview : "Are you sexually attracted to underage boys?"
Sandusky repeated the question, paused, and responded, "No. I enjoy young people."
Asked if Paterno had ever spoken to him about his behavior or expressed disapproval, Sandusky said simply, "No."
And asked if he felt guilty over the spreading fallout that has affected the university and prominent university figures including the fired Paterno, Sandusky responded, "I don't think it was my fault. I obviously played a part in this ... I shouldn't have showered with those kids. That's what hits me the most."
Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, said Monday night that showering with children does not equate automatically to sexual assault.
"Jerry Sandusky is a big, overgrown kid. He's a jock," Amendola told CNN's Jason Carroll. "The bottom line is jocks do that -- they kid around, they horse around."
But CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said she thinks a crime has already been committed, based on Sandusky's own admissions.
"It's such a classic fact pattern for him to admit that he showered with these children and horsed around and confessed to touching them," she said on CNN's "AC360." "In my mind, that's already misdemeanor child sex abuse. So I disagree when the attorney says nothing criminal happened here. That, in and of itself, is criminal ... I'm flabbergasted."
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Amendola finds himself in a difficult position in trying to explain his client's actions.
"It is better to say they took a shower together than to say that sex took place in the shower. But when you are admitting to showering with a 10 year old, you got a big problem already."
Veteran defense attorney Mark Geragos, who defended Michael Jackson against child molestation charges, urged caution in the case.
"Is there anyone who gives a presumption of innocence at this point? No," Geragos said. "Before we go and we say this is a done deal ... and condemn them and everything else, I think maybe we step back and take a deep breath for a second."
Sandusky was arrested on November 5, after the release of the grand jury report detailing alleged crimes that he committed between 1994 and 2009. The grand jury identified eight young men allegedly targeted by Sandusky.