All the judges in Penn State's home county removed themselves from potentially presiding over the child sex-abuse case against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and will be replaced by outside jurists, the Pennsylvania court system announced Thursday.
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said in a news release that the four Centre County Common Pleas Court judges bowed out "to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest due to real or perceived connections" to Sandusky, the university or the charity for at-risk children Sandusky founded.
Meanwhile, the attorney for Jerry Sandusky -- the former Penn State assistant football coach accused of multiple counts of sexual assault of children -- says he doesn't like the way the media have labeled the now young men who claim they were abused. As CBS Sports notes, the attorney took his case, so to speak, to a morning television program.John M. Cleland, a senior judge from McKean County, was appointed to take over the case, although another judge, Kathy A. Morrow, was named to handle matters until he can assume jurisdiction.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Joe Amendola, the attorney representing former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, said that Sandusky's accusers were "pampered" after being "labeled as victims" by the legal system, and that one's accusations were the result of tough love from Sandusky as a mentor.Mr. Amendola's rant comes on the same day that investigators are looking into at least two new cases of alleged sexual assault against Mr. Sandusky.
"[P]eople when they're brought into the criminal justice system and they're labeled as victims, they're pampered, they're encouraged, they're treated specially. And particularly when you're dealing with maybe someone who hasn't had a great, the greatest of lives. Then a lot of times they start feeling more important," Amendola said in the interview.
Amendola's most specific comments about the alleged victims were directed at whom the Pennsylvania grand jury describes as Victim 1, saying those accusations were a negative reaction to Sandusky's demands for harder work toward unspecified goals.
"When you push and they don't want you to," Amendola said, "they react. And what Jerry believes happened is that this young guy got tired of Jerry pushing. Jerry believes that what happened was this young guy said, 'you know what, gee, if I say Jerry did something to me, that's the end of my relationship with Jerry.'"