Day One: Joe Amendola Delivers Opening Statement
After Joe McGettigan delivered the prosecution’s opening remarks this morning, Sandusky’s main counsel Joe Amendola had his turn.
Amendola began by admitting to the jury, “This is a daunting task. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure how to approach it.” He compared his job of representing Sandusky as “David and Goliath” or “climbing Mount Everest,” claiming that the media has already labeled the accusers as victims.
“There are no victims in this case,” Amendola said. “The only way there will be victims is after you look at all the evidence and listen to all the arguments, and you, the jury, determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Jerry Sandusky is guilty of some or all of these offenses.”
Amendola continued by discussing Victim 2, saying that Mike McQueary has not been credible with his statements so far. “We think that McQueary saw something,” Amendola said. Amendola says that McQueary has never claimed to have “seen sex occurring,” but instead has said that he assumed sex was occurring. “Even after nothing happened, McQueary didn’t call the police,” Amendola said. “Even after months of Sandusky being around, he didn’t call the police.”
Amendola says that he will call several former Second Mile children as character witnesses. “Jerry treated them the exact same way as [the accusers] — he got them presents, took them on trips, took them to football games, took them to baseball games, and had them stay at the house. He thought they were all extended members of his family,” Amendola said.
The defense has previously stated in interviews that Sandusky was very affectionate with children, and that some people might perceive these actions as being corrupt. “Jerry loves kids so much that he does things that none of us would ever dream of doing. Jerry wanted these kids to succeed,” Amendola said.
Amendola’s remarks lasted approximately 40 minutes before court was adjourned for lunch recess. The first witness is expected after break at 12:45 p.m.