Both Jerry Sandusky and lawyer Joe Amendola took to the news networks on Nov. 14 to proclaim the former Penn State assistant coach's innocence in all 40 charges of sexual abuse. Amendola insisted his client's actions were misunderstood and exaggerated, while Sandusky admitted to showering with boys from The Second Mile on NBC's Rock Center.
The interview marked the first appearance of Sandusky's lawyer on the news networks. Amendola had however, issued statements arguing that the former defense coordinator's behavior, while questionable, was a product of a sports environment, not criminal intent.
Amendola's appearance on Anderson Cooper 360 comes the same night as an interview with Jerry Sandusky himself will air on NBC News. In an earlier phone interview. Joe Paterno’s former defensive coordinator was charged earlier this month with 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys. Sandusky, currently out on a $100,000 bond, has denied any wrong-doing.
Sandusky's Lawyer: The Kid Was Having a Good Time.
On Anderson Cooper 360, Sandusky's lawyer was careful to admit that Sandusky's actions had seemed suspect but were devoid of sexual connotations or criminal intent.
He [Sandusky] has an answer to every allegation, Amendola said, claiming all 40 charges of sexual abuse were unsubstantiated by the facts of the case.
He is a jock, Amendola said in one instance, referencing Sandusky's reluctant admission that he had taken naked showers and horsed around with boys from charity foundation The Second Mile. You take showers after you work out.
Jerry did get showers with kids, Amendola repeated later, admitting the interactions in the Penn State locker rooms involved both children and the former assistant coach naked. In this version of the events of 1998 however, when police investigated Sandusky after one boy told his principal he was being molested, the boy in question wasn't harmed. The kid, Amendola said, was having a good time.
Amendola went on to cast doubt on the victims' testimony in the grand jury report, though he emphasized that he did not blame the victims for what they reported.
Amendola's appearance on Anderson Cooper's CNN program was following by a brief statement from a lawyer of one of the alleged victims, and commentary from USA Today columnist and ABC News/NPR commenter Christine Brennan. Both parties condemned Amendola for victim-blaming, and cast blame over the PSU football program and the university for failing to take action against the alleged sexual abuser.
There needs to be a cleaning of the house, Brennan told fellow commenter Cory Giger of ESPN Radio and Sports Central. Clean house--start from scratch.
The Anderson Cooper 360 interview will air again on Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. EST.
Are You a Pedophile?
In the NBC interview, Rock Center host Bob Costas took on Jerry Sandusky himself. Costas, in an exchange airing Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. EST, questioned Sandusky's innocent plea, noting convincing accounts from the recently released grand jury report detailing sexual encounters with young boys in Sandusky's home, hotels and in Penn State locker rooms over the past fifteen years.
Multiple accusers, multiple eyewitnesses to multiple aspects of the abuse... a reasonable person says where's there's this much smoke, there must be plenty of fire, Costas said in the phone interview. What do you say?
When Sandusky repeated his earlier statement claiming innocence, Costas pressed the point. Innocent? he asked PSU's former assistant coach. Completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect?
Well, Sandusky replied, I could say that I have done some of those things.
The accused sexual predator went on to clarify however, that his actions were void of any sexual connotation. I have horsed around with kids I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.
When Costas asked if the former PSU coach regretted any of his decisions, particularly involving his work with The Second Mile, a charity he helped found to help at-risk youth, the 67-year-old said he did regret being naked around the young boys in question. I shouldn't have showered with those kids, he said.
Are you a pedophile? Costas asked him. No, Sandusky replied.