Local survivor of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse speaks out about life after being abused

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied Jesse Keith as one of 10 victims from Sandusky ‘s trial. He was not part of the criminal trial.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Imagine that you’re in deep water and about to go down a third time, but the lifeguards are ignoring your cries for help.

That what it was like for Jesse Keith.  The Columbus man says he was abused as a youngster by Jerry Sandusky.  The crimes of the once respected football coach made national news headlines.

Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years prison time for his convictions, but Keith and other victims have a lifetime sentence of trying to pick up the pieces.

It’s a mistake if you call Keith a victim or a survivor.

“I’m an overcomer,” said Keith. ‘A lot of the things with me was, nobody believed me while I was in foster care, that’s the biggest thing, guidance counselors, nobody really believed what I was telling them, it was always, ‘stop being a trouble maker.'”

The journey of self-healing continues for Keith, realizing it’s a life-long battle.

“Unfortunately, it’s always inside of me, even now always, at some point, it runs through your mind,” Keith said.

How has this life changing event impacted him as a father of five boys?

“I spend as much time with them when that’s possible. I don’t rely on babysitters unless need be and I make sure I attend every single event that they’re in because it’s an opportunity for me to keep them safe and learn from them.”

It was a determination to realize a vision that helped put Keith on the right track. His desire to help the community, especially children is the reason for his business, Jump Around, a bounce house operation in Central Ohio.

The vision includes The Great Excape Challenge, a family fun center on the east side of Columbus.  He has his eye on the vacant space of the old Columbus builder square.

The concept is built around a roller rink with so many attractions, it will be a challenge to do every event in one day.  He wants to use, ‘Excape’ in the name because he says it he had to escape depression, sadness and pity. Escape from your past and move forward, said Keith.  The same formula he’s using to focus on is life and the life of his children.

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