STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania — An attorney hired by an alleged victim of child sex abuse by former Penn State assistant gridiron coach Jerry Sandusky says his client is upset at attacks by an opposing lawyer.
Slade McLaughlin said his client, Victim No. 1 in a grand jury report issued November 5 detailing allegations against Sandusky, has been distressed by comments from Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, disputing the charges.
“I can only say it was emotionally devastating,” McLaughlin said. “It was someone he trusted. It was someone he believed had his best interests at heart.
“What’s even more distressing to him and his family is Sandusky’s lawyer is out there saying Victim No. 1 is a liar, (that) he has made all this up.”
Amendola said last week that Sandusky has maintained his innocence and that he had information that might indicate Sandusky was not guilty.
Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. He faces 40 criminal counts, including an alleged assault in the locker room of Penn State’s football team and the ramifications from it which led to the firing of long-time Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
“We’re ready to refute all eight charges,” Amendola has said.
McLaughlin said such comments were inappropriate and designed to put the victims on trial.
“I frankly think a lot of his comments have been incendiary,” McLaughlin said. “I think they have been harmful and hurtful to a lot of the victims.
“The proof is going to come out strong and hard, and these people are going to eat their words.”
Sandusky faces a December 13 preliminary hearing in Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
A preliminary hearing for two Penn State administrators accused of perjury and failing to properly report suspected abuse, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, has been delayed until December 16 at Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg.
Lawsuits against Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile — the charity Sandusky founded where he and the high school student met — are all possible, McLaughlin said, but the criminal trials have first to be completed.
Penn State has scheduled an event for students regarding the scandal on Wednesday with campus counseling and psychological services conducting smaller forums this week and next on the matter.