Sandusky's lawyer vows "different story'

TN News

Email Print

The lawyer for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky said on Tuesday one of his alleged child rape victims will tell "a very different story" from grand jury testimony.

Joe Amendola said in an interview on NBC's "Today" program he thinks he has located the man, now in his mid-20s, who was allegedly raped by Sandusky in 2002 as a young boy.

"We believe we've found him and if we have found him, he is telling a very different story than Mike McQueary ... He is saying it never happened," Amendola said.

In his recent grand jury testimony, McQueary said he told team officials but not police in 2002, when he was a graduate assistant on the football team, that he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the showers.

McQueary, now an assistant football coach who has been suspended by the university, did not comment on that incident in a short interview with CBS News aired on Tuesday evening.

He said his emotions were "all over the place, just kind of shaken ... like a snow globe."

Sandusky was charged on November 5 with 40 counts of sex crimes involving eight boys over more than a decade. He has denied all of the charges.

Since the scandal broke, Penn State's revered football coach Joe Paterno and the university president have been fired by the board of trustees. The head of The Second Mile, the children's charity formed by Sandusky and where he met all of his alleged victims, has also resigned.

Two former university officials have been charged with not reporting the alleged 2002 incident. They have also professed their innocence.

The New York Times said on Monday about 10 more victims may have come forward, citing sources close to the investigation.

Amendola's comments came from a string of interviews in the past day, in addition to Sandusky's first public statements on Monday night. Some legal experts questioned the wisdom of letting him talk to the media.

"I'm very surprised that he was on television," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, who was the state's attorney general during much of the investigation into Sandusky, at an event in Harrisburg. He said he did not watch the interview.

Also on Tuesday, US Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania called for urgent hearings on US laws governing child sex abuse. "It is clear we need to examine the federal laws that are designed to protect children from this type of heinous abuse," Casey said in a statement.

The Department of Justice said it would assist the state's criminal case and a separate Education Department probe into possible violations of the Clery Act, the federal law that requires colleges to report campus-related crimes.

Experts surprised

On Monday night, Sandusky professed his innocence in a telephone interview on NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" program.

"I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg. Without intent of sexual contact. But so if you look at it that way there are things that wouldn't, you know, would be accurate," said Sandusky, 67.

Asked if he is a pedophile, Sandusky said "No."

When asked if he was sexually attracted to underage boys, Sandusky seemed to hesitate. He repeated the question before replying: "Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

Sandusky also talked about the 2002 incident described by McQueary.

"We were showering and horsing around," he said. "We were, as I recall, possibly, like, snapping a towel, horseplay."

Ronald Allen, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, was staggered that Amendola agreed to let Sandusky speak to the media, saying any comments "can be used to impeach" a defendant in court.

"Nothing good can come from a prospective defendant giving a public interview. From the legal point of view it's really ill-advised," Allen said.

Sandusky's interview riveted residents around the Penn State campus. Students at the Bar Bleu in downtown State College sat motionless as it was broadcast.

There were groans when the former defensive coach said he enjoys being around children. Some viewers swore at the screen but at least one was prepared to give Sandusky the benefit of the doubt.

Graduate student Stuart Shapiro recalled the "rush to judgment" in the 2006 case of three lacrosse players at Duke University who were indicted on rape charges but later cleared.

"None of us know whether Sandusky's innocent or guilty. Once it goes to trial, we will find out what people did or didn't do," Shapiro said.

Tom Bradley, interim head coach of the Penn State football team, said he did not watch the Sandusky interview.

"I was working on Ohio State last night. I've got other things to do," Bradley told a press conference. Penn State's Nittany Lions travel to play Ohio State on Saturday.

More World News