- (Photo: REUTERS / Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office / Handout)
Jerry Sandusky's attorney appeared on NBC's Today show Tuesday morning to defend the former Penn State defensive coordinator, who stands at the forefront of a child sex abuse scandal that has brought the famed football university to its knees.
Joe Amendola sat down with news anchor Ann Curry to discuss a telephone interview on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, in which Sandusky admitted to showering and "horsing around" with the eight young boys he is accused of sexually assaulting, but professed his innocence in the charges being brought against him.
"He didn't use a whole lot of common sense," Amendola said when asked why Sandusky did not stop showering with young boys even after a mother complained it was inappropriate. "But showering with kids does not make him guilty, and that's the point. The point is that he's maintained his innocence and we live in a system that presumes innocence, and yet the public and the media, for the most part, have tried and convicted him and he hasn't even had a day in court yet."
An additional 10 boys have come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky, the New York Times reported.
But Amendola maintains the possibility that the accusers are lying.
"What's happening now, in my opinion, is that we have a bunch of people who have read the allegations, realized that there's a large university involved and maybe a lot of money involved in lawsuits that are certainly going to come," he said. "And until we sort through these allegations, we have absolutely no idea whether they are authentic or not."
Amendola also said that while the defense has not spoken to the majority of the alleged victims, he has spoken to one whom he believes was the boy receivers coach Mike McQueary said he saw being raped by Sandusky in the school showers, though he cannot confirm this. Amendola said the victim told him that the rape never happened.
In addition, Amendola said one of the alleged victims was seen at Sandusky's house no earlier than two years ago with his wife and baby saying that he wanted Sandusky in their lives and to be a part of their family.
"Obviously the other side of that is, well that's what victims do when they are abused, they are confused about how they relate to the abusers, but it still opens up the possibility that Jerry is innocent," Amendola said.