The defense attorney for former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who stands at the forefront of a child sex abuse scandal, reportedly fathered a child with a teenage girl more than a decade ago.
Joe Amendola allegedly impregnated now 32-year-old Mary Iavasile while serving as her attorney for an emancipation petition from her parents that was filed just weeks before her 17th birthday.
Janet Iavasile, Mary's mother, told The Daily that she was not aware of the relationship brewing between Amendola and her daughter, and although they began spending a lot of time together, she thought of Amendola as a "mentor" to Mary, who expressed interest in the law. She gave birth just before turning 18, and the two married in 2003 around the time their second child was born. Amendola was around the age of 49 when he began the relationship with Mary.
Although they are separated now, Mary has kept his surname and her mother said that she has grown to accept the relationship.
"Joe is a very good father and has loved his two children very much, and that’s the most important thing for me right now," Janet told The Daily.
Amendola appeared on NBC's Today show on Tuesday morning claiming that amid all the allegations against Sandusky, the possibility of his innocence is plausible.
"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."
The scandal cost many school administrators their jobs after it came to light that they knew about the allegations, yet failed to take action to stop the sex abuse.
Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz resigned shortly after learning they would face perjury charges for lying to a grand jury and not involving police after various witnesses brought it to their attention that Sandusky was abusing boys.
Football legend Joe Paterno was fired, even though he fulfilled a legal obligation to tell his superiors about the allegations after they had been brought to his attention by then graduate assistant Mike McQueary.
McQueary, now a receivers coach, told Paterno he witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in the school showers. He has been placed on an indefinite paid administrative leave.