(Reuters) - The wife of the former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, accused of serial child sexual abuse, said on Thursday she believes the charges against her husband are "absolutely untrue."
In a statement, Dorothy Sandusky thanked friends for standing by the family during "this very sad time in our lives" and she asked people to "be reasonable and open-minded until both sides of this case are heard and Jerry has the opportunity to prove his innocence."
Her husband, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on November 5 and charged with 40 counts of molesting eight boys over a period of 15 years.
Prosecutors allege Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for Penn State football, met his victims through a youth charity he founded in the late 1970s.
On Wednesday, Sandusky was arrested for a second time and charged with 12 new counts of child sexual abuse, according to court documents. He spent the night in jail and was released on Thursday after posting the $250,000 bail set by a judge.
"We don't know why these young men have made these false accusations," Dorothy Sandusky said in the statement, "but we want everyone to know they are untrue."
She said she was particularly hurt by the allegation by one of the two most recent accusers, who told a grand jury he was assaulted by Jerry Sandusky in the basement of the Sandusky home while Dorothy Sandusky was upstairs.
The accuser said that on at least one occasion, he cried out for help, hoping Sandusky's wife would stop the assault, but that she did not intervene.
"As the mother of six children, I have been devastated by these accusations," she said. "I continue to believe in Jerry's innocence and all the good things he has done."
Sandusky's preliminary court hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.
(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune)