That creepy interview Jerry Sandusky did with Bob Costas a couple of weeks back was pretty much viewed as a disaster by everyone except Joe Amendola, the attorney representing Sandusky who permitted it to happen. And now, amid news that additional victims continue to come forward to allege Sandusky abused them, Amendola is already indicating he might be willing to seek a plea deal.
From the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, which today has another story by reporter Sara Ganim that's a step ahead of everyone else:
At some point, Amendola says, he may need to have a conversation with Sandusky about pleading guilty.
This is a breathtaking admission for a lawyer to make to a reporter in such a high-profile abuse case, which is why Amendola is already backpedaling, though Ganim has posted a transcript of their interview to prove he said what he did in the context in which it was presented. Sandusky still has not had a preliminary hearing for the 40 counts of child-sex abuse against eight victims for which he's been indicted, and that won't happen until Dec. 13. Amendola's comments indicate he may know his client has little chance at proving his innocence, and it effectively hands to the prosecution whatever leverage Sandusky might have had for securing a favorable plea deal.
Amendola goes on to give Ganim a rebuttal for each of the charges brought by the eight victims outlined in the grand jury's presentment. He even expands on the claim he made to Costas about Victim 2, the one Mike McQueary testified he saw Sandusky raping in a shower 2002, but whose identity was not known by the grand jury. Amendola says Victim 2 came to his office with his mother and brother a few weeks back to say he was not a victim. According to Ganim, he then lays out how he can prove Victim 2's identity:
Amendola says both Victim 2 and Sandusky deny seeing McQueary. Sandusky says he only found out there was a problem a few days later when Curley called him and said someone had witnessed horsing around that made them uncomfortable.
Sandusky said he gave Curley the boy's name and phone number, saying he was sure he'd help to clear up the misunderstanding.
"Sandusky contacted him and said, ‘You may get a call from someone from Penn State who is going to ask you about what's going on in the shower, and if you do, it's OK to tell them what was going on,' " Amendola said.
Sandusky didn't learn until several months ago that McQueary was that witness. It came as a shock, his lawyer said.
"What Jerry tells me is that he ran into McQueary on a regular basis both at Penn State practice and charity events," Amendola said.
If true, all of that actually could wind up being a pretty big hole in the prosecution's case, especially given Amendola's assertion that Victim 2 and Victim 6 had "dined together with Sandusky and his wife last summer," in the words of the Patriot-News. But get this: Amendola next identifies who he says is Victim 2's lawyer, Andrew Shubin, and he admits Shubin had gotten a court order to protect his client's identity. Care to guess as to why? Ganim explains:
Contacted Wednesday night at his State College office, an angry Shubin refused to confirm which alleged victim is his client. He blasted Amendola for "attacks on the credibility of victims by publicly declaring that he wants a presentment victim to step forward and defend [Sandusky]."
"Our investigation reveals that Sandusky is an unrepentant child predator. He caused incalculable devastation to children, their families and our community and is continuing to do so through his attacks on the victims' credibility," Shubin added in a written statement.
A victims' rights attorney—who, it turns out, happens to be working with Shubin—then tells Ganim that Amendola's statements amount to calling victims liars by manipulating their fears. The victims' rights lawyer also says it's typical for abusers to preserve relationships with victims to keep them quiet.
Maybe somebody should do something to keep Joe Amendola quiet instead.
Patriot-News Exclusive: Jerry Sandusky's lawyer says plea deal is possible if more victims come forward, previews his defense [PennLive]
Jerry Sandusky's lawyer clarifies plea-agreement statement [PennLive]
Transcript of Sara Ganim's interview with Joe Amendola [PennLive]