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Jerry Sandusky does himself no favors with Bob Costas interview

Updated: December 17, 2011 8:21AM

Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola was on the “Today” show, defending the man who has supplanted Casey Anthony as the Most Reviled Person in America.

“Is it possible Jerry did all these things?” said Amendola. “Of course. If he did...he should be punished accordingly. But what if he didn’t? What if he is innocent and his life will never be the same?”

Amendola also said to Ann Curry, “You’re in journalism, isn’t that a possibility?”

Anything — well, almost anything — is possible. It’s possible O.J. Simpson didn’t murder his ex-wife Nicole and Ronald Goldman. It’s possible Sandusky is guilty of “horsing around,” as Sandusky told Bob Costas, and that he kept showering with boys even after being warned about it because “he didn’t use a whole lot of common sense.”

What are the odds? Maybe there’s a one percent chance Sandusky is a perv and a creep but he didn’t commit rape.

Sandusky’s lawyer says they’ve been looking for the young man who was allegedly raped by Sandusky when he was 10 years old in 2002 and says, “We believe we have found him, and if we have found him, he is telling a very different story than Mike McQueary, and that’s big news.”

We’ll see.

Amendola also told “Today” some of the other alleged victims continue to spend time with Sandusky, even coming to his home for dinner.

So what? Many adults who were childhood victims of abuse continue to spend time with their tormenters, who are often family members or close family friends. Just because you’re in the same room with someone and you keep up appearances, perhaps for the sake of the family or for any number of reasons, doesn’t mean you weren’t victimized as a child.

Sandusky speaks

I’m not sure Sandusky did himself any favors by doing a telephone interview with Costas on NBC’s “Rock Center.”

If you’re going to talk to the press — and my guess is Sandusky’s attorneys can’t be pleased he talked at all — do it in person. Look the interviewer in the eye and let the American public see how adamant you are in your denials.

Even as the New York Times reported that several more alleged victims have come forward since Sandusky’s arrest, Sandusky was telling Costas, “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.”

I played various organized sports from the time I was 8 until I was in my mid-20s. Not one time did a coach even enter the showers. There’s nothing even close to routine about a grown man taking showers with children and hugging them and touching their legs, regardless of what he says his intent was. Sandusky’s defense veers damn close to him saying he’s a pedophile who didn’t follow through on his sick urges.

A USA Today poll asked, “Did Sandusky help his cause?”

As of this writing, 83 percent of respondents said, “No. He sounded guilty and I didn’t believe a word,” while just 17 percent said, “Yes. Couldn’t have hurt his reputation any worse.”

When Costas asked, “Are you sexually attracted to underage boys?” Sandusky did not say, “No! Not at all. End of story.”

He replied, “Am I sexually attracted to underage boys? Sexually attracted? You know, I, I enjoy young people, I, I love to be around them, um, I, but no, I am not sexually attracted to young boys.”

Took the man nearly 20 seconds to answer the question, and the answer he gave hardly helped his cause.

Sandusky asked for people to “hang on” while his attorney has a chance to fight for his “innocence.”

This is America. Even when we’re convinced someone is guilty, we say they’re innocent until proven guilty.

If Sandusky’s attorney vindicates his client, it’ll be one of the great shocking upsets in jurisprudence history.

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