Joe Amendola, the attorney for Jerry Sandusky who thus far has been lawyerin' like a man who got his J.D. from the bottom of a cereal box, did some more lawyerin' in front of the cameras this morning. The choicest moment: At one point, Amendola discussed the possibility that Mike McQueary witnessed a rape, told Joe Paterno and two university administrators, and no one did anything except tell Sandusky to stay out of the locker room with kids. To anyone who believes that version of events, Amendola said, "I suggest you dial 1-800-REALITY." We did. Here's what we got:
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Update: And here we are:
Other moments, relayed by our man on the scene, Dom Cosentino:
• Amendola questioned the credibility of Mike McQueary, who in his grand jury testimony said he witnessed Jerry Sandusky anally raping a boy but who has told friends otherwise. "He was the Commonwealth's centerpiece. To the extent that we destroy his credibility, [the credibility] of everyone else comes into question."
• "There have been no plea negotiations," Amendola said, "there will be no plea negotiations. This is the fight of Jerry Sandusky's life and we plan to fight this to the death."
• Amendola: "This goes beyond the Penn State-Miami game in '86 [sic]. This is the game of his life." In his own remarks to the media, Sandusky vowed to fight for "four full quarters." That's right: It's Accused Child Rapist vs. 10 Alleged Victims in the Happy Valley Child Sex Abuse Bowl.
• Amendola said he hadn't had any "meaningful" discussions with the prosecution until yesterday. He got angry at the suggestion he and his client were being cowardly by waiving the hearing: "Realizing that the credibility (of witnesses) would not be an issue, we decided we would waive the hearing today."
• "If Jerry Sandusky is innocent, then maybe he's being victimized. ... All we've asked from the media is to give Jerry Sandusky the opportunity to prove his innocence."
• He pointed out that several victims have civil attorneys: "What greater motivation, folks, could there be than the financial motivation of saying, 'I'm a victim.'" If we were to keep with the 50-counts-of-child-sex-abuse-allegations-as-football-game metaphor, that would be a 15-yard penalty for taunting.
Update [11:40 a.m.]: One final quote, this one about why Amendola let Sandusky talk to NBC and The New York Times:
Regardless of the awkward manner in which he did it, he needed to tell people he was not guilty of these charges. I think, given the circumstances of this case, which are highly unusual, [it] called for a non-traditional approach to Jerry's defense. Jerry went out and he spoke, and it was awkward. But he said, 'I am innocent; I didn't do this.' I think that as people get to know Jerry Sandusky and get to see him interact often, they'll realize that Jerry Sandusky takes his time answering questions, answers with questions, pauses. I was kidding people when I found out that The New York Times was charging $2,500 a second for its footage of the interview, because Jerry pauses for 30 seconds before he answers a question. That's a heck of a lot of money for a 30-second pause. But that's Jerry Sandusky, and I think the more that I can get him out there, to the extent that I'm able to do that in a realistic way, an effective way, the more I can get people to understand that's the way Jerry Sandusky talks—that's just Jerry Sandusky.