Wife of Convicted Sex Offender Jerry Sandusky Voices Opposition to Penn State Casino

Dottie Sandusky, the wife of convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, is stepping up to voice her opposition of a casino being built near the Penn State University campus.

Jerry Sandusky Penn State casino Bally's
Jerry Sandusky Penn State casino Bally's
Jerry Sandusky and his wife Dottie walk outside the Centre County Courthouse in December of 2011. Dottie is speaking out to urge area residents to reject a planned casino at the Nittany Mall near Penn State. (Image: Centre Daily Times)

The 78-year-old recently submitted comments to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to express her hostility to gambling in State College. Penn State alum Ira Lubert has partnered with the Bally’s Corporation to pitch the state and local community a $123 million plan to reimagine the vacant former Macy’s department store at the Nittany Mall into a 94,000-square-foot casino.

I really don’t think that a casino would improve our community in any way,” Mrs. Sandusky opined to the PGCB. “I think it would bring nothing but more problems to our community.”

The project includes up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games, sportsbook, restaurant and bar, and entertainment space.

Monster in Happy Valley

In 2011, Mr. Sandusky, who was Joe Paterno’s assistant college football coach and defensive coordinator for 30 years from 1969 to 1999, was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse. The shocking news forever tarnished Paterno’s legacy, and the once esteemed college football coach died just 74 days later due to complications from lung cancer.

Federal authorities say Sandusky molested and raped young boys over a 15-year period. Many of his criminal acts occurred on or near the Penn State campus.

Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts in 2012, and was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison that same year. Dottie Sandusky was never charged with any wrongdoing, despite law enforcement claiming some of her husband’s sickening monstrosities occurred in their basement while she was supposedly asleep upstairs.

Mrs. Sandusky continues to live in the same home she shared with her husband. She lives off his Penn State pension, which she won the right in court in 2015 to continue collecting.

Casino Foes

In addition to submitting her opposition to the proposed Bally’s Penn State casino to the state gaming board, Mrs. Sandusky wrote a recent op-ed with three of her State College friends.

“Do we really want a casino in the mall? It’s a crap shoot, with a guaranteed winner, who’s not us,” wrote Mrs. Sandusky, Susan Strauss, and Tom and Shannon Frey — all of State College. The letter was published in the Centre Daily Times.

This casino is a means for real estate investors to grow their own assets at the community’s expense. Bid on a casino; develop the land, structure, and surrounding space; call it ‘family entertainment,’ and then sell it for a mega-profit. Who wins? Not the community. Not us,” the group asserted.

Mrs. Sandusky and the other signatories added that the proposed casino would be located near two gun dealers. They argue gambling and alcohol — two staples of a casino — don’t mix with firearms available for purchase nearby.

“We live among such creative, highly skilled, and highly innovative entrepreneurs and forward thinkers, not to mention investors who could actually have our own community’s well-being in mind, to help us re-think this space, developing it into a truly vibrant venue for us all. We need more positive certainty (a win-win) and much less of a gamble, and far less of a risk to all of us,” Sandusky and friends concluded.

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