The Second Mile, a charity founded by Sandusky aimed at helping children, is at the centre of the scandal [Reuters]

Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University football coach charged with child sex abuse, has admitted to showering with young boys, but says he did so without any intention of sexual contact.

In comments made to a US television news channel, Sandusky said he had "horsed around with kids", hugged them and "touched their legs without intent of sexual contact", but denied charges that he was a paedophile.

A former defensive co-ordinator for Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky was charged earlier this month with 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys, and is currently free on a $100,000 bond.

According to a grand jury report, Sandusky is accused of having sexual encounters with young boys in his home, at hotels and in the Penn State locker rooms. The allegations date back to 1994.

When pressed in the interview with NBC news to articulate what exactly he had done wrong, Sandusky said: "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."

Answers to allegations

The scandal has rocked the university, and led to the departure of head coach Paterno and three other university officials.

Sandusky's lawyers, meanwhile, say that they have answers for every allegation levelled by prosecutors.

In a separate television appearance on Monday, Joe Amendola, who represents Sandusky, told CNN that the former coach's defence team was having trouble finding some of the alleged victims mentioned in the grand jury report.

Amendola also said that his client was "a big overgrown kid".

Source: Agencies