Although former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has maintained his innocence in the face of over 40 charges of child sex abuse, the most recent allegations may have (temporarily) pushed his hand: lawyer Joe Amendola told reporters his client may plea guilty, retracting his statement today but leaving American readers more convinced of Sandusky's guilt.
While still maintaining his client's innocence, Amendola told news sources on Dec. 1 that he would speak to Sandusky about pleading guilty to some of the heinous charges against him.
Today, however, Amendola insisted that Sandusky would not plead guilty and that his client never intended to do so. He has also outlined a defense strategy that will question the victims' credibility and dismiss the charges based on Sandusky's tendency toward horseplay and his continued contact with the alleged victims.
'A Real Uphill Battle'
Speaking with The Patriot-News, Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola told reporters that while a deal wasn't yet on the table, he was considering speaking with Jerry Sandusky about pleading guilty.
That could happen if more allegations come forth and Jerry gets to the point where he realized fighting against more than the original allegations might be a real uphill battle, Amendola said.
Such an argument, that it would be better to plead guilty to molestation charges than to face a trial, smacked of a confession to some. Amendola, however, was quick to assert his client's continued avowal of innocence.
Bottom line, Jerry has always maintained his innocence, from the first allegation, and will continue to maintain innocence, Amendola said of Sandusky. What happens with any additional charges which may be filed remains to be seen.
Guilty Plea Hypothetical Only
Yet additional charges have been filed, even more heinous than some of the stories before, and Sandusky continues to plead his innocence. In fact, the notion of Sandusky pleading guilty was dropped the same day the story was printed.
Clarifying his statement, Amendola said that the former Penn State defensive coordinator has never considered and is not currently considering a plea in his case. The lawyer asserted that his statement was purely hypothetical, reflecting the fact that Amendola might suggest a guilty plea as the case evolves.
Reporter Sara Ganim, who covered the story, supported Amendola's statement in a Twitter post last week. Our Sandusky story is in complete agreement with Joe Amendola statement, the tweet read. Anyone who says different is drawing big conclusions.
'He's a big, overgrown kid'
Even though Amendola suggests the possibility of a (hypothetical) guilty plea in the future, the lawyer is hard at work investigating the backgrounds and credibility of Sandusky's alleged victims.
Amendola has hired a private detective to pick apart the case against Sandusky, and recently revealed a step-by-step rebuttal to the testimony of the eight known victims who'd stepped forward thus far.
Among his strategies for the defense, Amendola plans to argue that Victim One (Sandusky's first accuser) is lying and was a troubled child, that since police cleared Sandusky of wrongdoing with Victim Six it meant that there was no case against him, and that continued contact with Victims Three, Five and Seven, as well as Sandusky's defense of horse play, clear of him of these charges as well.
People that know Jerry say he's a big, overgrown kid, Amendola said. And I think people who know Jerry understand that about Jerry.
'Victims' Worst Fears'
Lawyer Andrew Shubin is working with at least one of the alleged victims in the Sandusky child sex abuse case. Subin sais he was disgusted by Amendola's strategy and by his continued trivialization of the charges against his client because of his infamous televised interview on Nov. 14 and also a recent statements to the press.
Our investigation reveals that Sandusky is an unrepentant child predator, Shubin said. He caused incalculable devastation to children, thier families and our community and is continuing to do so through his attacks on the victims' credibility.
Justine Andronici, a victims' rights attorney with Shubin, echoed his remarks. These statements play on the victims' worst fears: threat if they stand up and tell the truth they will be called liars and victimized again.
Andronici also dismissed the idea that Sandusky's continued contact with the boys proved his innocence. Perpetrators of sexual abuse [often] maintain long-term contact with their victims for the very purpose of continuing to silence them, she said.
Sandusky Arrested as More Victims Come Forward
Still, as the case against Sandusky becomes more and more damning, Amendola may have to have that conversation about guilty pleas after all.
On Dec. 7, Jerry Sandusky was arrested by Pennsylvania police as two more victims came forward, adding new charges to the case and even implicating Sandusky's wife.
In detailed testimonies, Victims Nine and Ten described how Jerry Sandusky forced them to have anal and oral sex when they were 11-12 and 10 years old, respectively.
Victim Nine even claimed that Sandusky's wife knew of the assaults and did nothing. On at least one occasion, he said in his testimony, he screamed for help from the basement where Sandusky was raping him, knowing Dottie Sandusky was upstairs. Sandusky's wife never answered his cries, or tried to help him.
The inclusion of Victims Nine and Ten in the case against Sandusky could be damning. Charges of repeated forced sexual intercourse, the violence of the sexual assaults, and the simple addition of two more voices claiming, quite believably, that Sandusky molested them is enough to make many wonder whether Amendola might not have Sandusky ask for a plea deal after all.
Will Sandusky admit guilt in order to get a light sentence for the charges against him, which are over forty and growing? As these two new victims come forward, the next few weeks are sure to provide an answer.