Jerry Sandusky case: a ninth accuser says former coach abused him at 12 after gave him liquor
A ninth accuser of Jerry Sandusky has filed a complaint with state police alleging he was sexually abused by the former coach after gave him liquor on the Penn State campus in 2004, the alleged victim’s lawyer said yesterday.
Charles Schmidt said his 19-year-old client, whom he did not identify, went to his law firm about three weeks ago, after Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.
“He suffered one incident of abuse, to use the legal term – involuntary deviate sexual intercourse – allegedly at the hands of Mr Sandusky,” Charles Schmidt said.
“That occurred on the Penn State campus, we believe in the area of the football facilities.”
Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, said he was unfamiliar with the allegations Charles Schmidt was making.
The new claim came the day a lawyer for another young man who accused Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse said he expects his client and at least five other accusers to testify at a preliminary hearing next week.
The lawyer said he has information that the six young men whose testimony before a grand jury contributed to a report detailing allegations against Jerry Sandusky will be called to testify next Tuesday.
Jerry Sandusky, 67, is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, and prosecutors allege he met his victims through a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk children, The Second Mile.
The former coach denies being a paedophile and has vowed to fight the charges. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he has said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them.
The existence of Charles Schmidt’s client was first reported by WHP-TV in Harrisburg.
Charles Schmidt told the AP that his client was 12 years old, dealing with the death of his mother and suffering emotional issues at the time of the campus incident.
The lawyer said the two met through The Second Mile and his client claims Jerry Sandusky gave him liquor while in the office on campus. The grand jury report did not allege any instances of Jerry Sandusky giving boys alcohol.
Charles Schmidt said his law firm is conducting its own investigation into the client’s claims.
“We hope to have it wrapped up within another week. We believe him to be credible,” Charles Schmidt said.
“Everything that we’ve been able to unearth since has corroborated what he told us, but we’ll continue to do our due diligence.”
The preliminary hearing, at which a judge would determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to take the case to trial, could last a day or more since the defense has the right to cross-examine the state’s witnesses.
The state attorney general’s office would not comment on the evidence authorities plan to offer to show probable cause the crimes occurred.
Joe Amendola said Tuesday that a police officer witness should not be able to testify in the place of the accusers, based on evidentiary rules that pertain to hearsay.
“Our position would be that these people have to testify,” Joe Amendola said.
“And one isn’t sufficient, because you have eight separate incidents … with eight separate alleged victims or accusers.”
Prosecutors listed eight victims in the grand jury report but didn’t know the identities of two of them when they issued the report in early November.
The report said one of those two was a boy seen being sodomized by Jerry Sandusky in a Penn State football complex shower in 2002.
Joe Amendola has said he believes he knows the identity of the boy in the shower and that the person dined with Jerry Sandusky this past summer.
He said he’s looking forward to questioning the prosecution witnesses – including any accusers.
“We will, for the very first time, have the opportunity to face Jerry’s accusers and question them under oath about their allegations,” Joe Amendola said in a statement Monday.
“We look forward to this opportunity.”
Former sex crimes prosecutor Richard DeSipio said prosecutors may have to call the six known accusers for the judge to uphold the 40 counts.
Defense lawyers sometimes waive preliminary hearings if they are worried about publicity for their clients, but Richard DeSipio said he is not surprised Joe Amendola is demanding the hearing.
“This is their first and only opportunity before trial to actually see the witnesses … to hear their tone and demeanor and to question them and see how they respond to questions and also to flush out details,” said Richard DeSipio, who is now a criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia.
Assistant football coach Mike McQueary, who has been identified as the witness to the 2002 shower encounter, could also be called to testify.
Mike McQueary’s account wasn’t immediately brought to the attention of authorities even though high-level people at Penn State apparently were told about an incident in the showers.
In the wake of the scandal, Penn State University last month fired coach Joe Paterno and accepted President Graham Spanier’s resignation.
Joe Paterno has said he wishes he had done more about allegations against Jerry Sandusky.
Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university’s police department, has stepped down. Gary Schultz and Tim Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report to police.
They maintain their innocence.
Also yesterday, Penn State President Rodney Erickson told skeptical faculty members not to worry that school trustees would “whitewash” their own investigation.
Rodney Erickson pledged to the University Faculty Senate that investigators will have unfettered access to and cooperation from the school.
Rodney Erickson said the leadership of a committee checking into the allegations should lend confidence “that there will be no whitewash … no sweeping under the rug”.
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