Welcome to part 2 of our Penn State blog series. For an overview of the Sandusky/Paterno case read part 1 of our Penn State series.
Last night Jerry Sandusky broke his silence in an exclusive phone interview with Bob Costas. During the interview Sandusky claims he is innocent of all charges. He admits to showering and “horsing around” with the victims, but denies that any sexual activity ever took place.
“I could say that 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 legs without intent of sexual contact,” said Sandusky.
Sandusky did however express regret for his actions, saying “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”
Joseph Amendola, Sandusky’s defense attorney, was present at the interview and spoke on behalf of his client. “I believe in Jerry’s innocence,” Amendola said. “We expect we’re going to have a number of kids…come forward and say this never happened.”
Watch the Sandusky interview.
What were Sandusky’s motives for breaking his silence? Was it part of his defense strategy? To answer these questions, I conducted a roundtable discussion with the defense attorneys at Appelman Law Firm, and asked them the possible reasons Sandusky’s lawyer consented to a public interview.
“This interview was essentially a PR move,” said Avery Appelman. “It was an attempt to humanize this man, whom the public have already labeled a monstrous child rapist. No one is being objective about this case, since it’s a highly sensitive area. Sandusky and his attorney are pointing out that this man has a right to a fair trial and it is not right for people to pre-judge him before he is granted that constitutional right.”
Avery Appelman believes the interview was a bad idea. “Nothing good will come of this. Although none of his statements will be admissible in court, he’s now publicly admitted to showering naked with little boys. He should’ve kept his mouth shut and let the attorneys go to work.”
Despite their differing opinions, all the attorneys agreed that there is very little chance that Sandusky will testify at trial. “There’s no way Sandusky’s attorney would’ve let him do this interview if he was planning on taking the stand,” said Appelman. “If he took the stand now, the prosecution would grill him on his admissions of showering and ‘horsing around’ with the victims.”
What are your thoughts? Was this interview a good or a bad move by Sandusky? Have your views of the case or Sandusky changed in any way?