Accused coach tries to repair damage over child sex charges

A retired American football coach accused of child sex abuse has made another attempt to persuade the US public of his innocence.

But Jerry Sandusky's account of how his house became a kind of "recreation centre" for underprivileged children, with wrestling matches and sleepovers, again threatened to do his reputation more harm than good.

The molestation and rape charges against Sandusky have captivated the country and caused a scandal at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, where he coached.

Mr Sandusky took the high-stakes approach of accepting an interview request from a newspaper in an apparent attempt to undo the damage of a previous television appearance. In that first interview, two weeks ago, he admitted that he showered with boys and appeared to waver when asked if he was sexually attracted to children.

This time, in The New York Times, the 67-year-old firmly denied the charges and defended his work for a children's charity he founded, Second Mile, and for children that he described as his extended family.

He is charged with molesting eight boys from the Second Mile scheme over more than a decade.