Friday, July 14, 2017

Bob Costas And Sara Ganim Star In Jerry Sandusky Appeal

By Ralph Cipriano

Fifteen minutes.

That's how much advance notice Jerry Sandusky got from his lawyer, Joseph Amendola, before he engaged in a disastrous nationally televised interview with Bob Costas.

Amendola also did nothing to prep Sandusky for talking with Costas, Sandusky's appeal lawyers say. That 2011 interview was replayed in court by the prosecutors, who proceeded to rip Sandusky for talking to Costas, but not the jury. Sandusky was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

The idiocy of the Costas interview was recounted in a 257-page post-hearing brief filed Thursday in Centre County Common Pleas Court by Sandusky's appeal lawyers, Alexander H. Lindsay Jr. and J. Andrew Salemme, of Butler, PA.

Lindsay and Salemme argue that Sandusky deserves a new trial because Amendola foolishly chose to go on national TV and give up his client's right to remain silent and not convict himself. Amendola went on Costas's TV show in a misguided campaign to cultivate "friends" in the media, Sandusky's appeal lawyers write.  Amendola told a judge he embarked on his campaign because at the time the media was saying that his client was "worse than Adolph Hitler."

In the interview, Costas asked Sandusky if he was sexually attracted to young boys.

Sandusky repeated the question a couple of times, before saying, "I -- I love to be around them . .  I -- I -- but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

In their appeal brief, Sandusky's lawyers argue that the Costas debacle wasn't all Jerry's fault. It was editing by NBC that made it appear "that there was repetition of the infamous question and answer regarding Mr. Sandusky being sexually attracted to young boys," the lawyers write.

Amendola admitted that the Costas interview presented at trial had the "same effect as a police interview," except that Amendola was powerless on TV to stop the questioning, Sandusky's lawyers write.

In their brief, Sandusky's lawyers quote another criminal defense attorney, James Bryant, as saying he would have only agreed to the Costas interview if they put "a gun to my head."

That interview "killed" Sandusky, Bryant said. Especially when it was played at trial.

At trial, Sandusky's lawyers said, the prosecutors "sought to fix a bias and hostility against Mr. Sandusky in the jury's minds based on the fact that Mr. Sandusky was willing to talk to the media about his case, but he did not take the stand to talk to the jury directly."

Sandusky's lawyers cited the Fifth Amendment that says no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

Except if he voluntarily decides to waive that privilege, by going on national TV.

Prior to the Costas interview, Sandusky's lawyers write, Amendola told Sandusky that only Amendola would be interviewed by Costas. And that if Sandusky was interviewed, the only thing he would have to say was that "he was innocent."

The short notice to Sandusky was disclosed by the host of Rock Center, Sandusky's lawyers say.

"Bob Costas, himself, provided an interview in which he recalled that Mr. Amendola only contacted Mr. Sandusky 15 minutes before the interview," Sandusky's lawyers write.

Sandusky originally wasn't even supposed to appear on the show. At the time, in his campaign to win friends in the media, Amendola had promised to do his first interview with Costas. But then the lawyer gave an interview to CNN.

An NBC producer "voiced strong displeasure" after the CNN interview, Sandusky's lawyers write.

"In order to make up for this and ingratiate himself with the media again, Mr. Amendola convinced Mr. Sandusky to do the interview" with Costas, Sandusky's lawyers write. Aamendola told Sandusky the Costas interview would provide a "golden opportunity" to proclaim his innocence.

In their appeal brief, Sandusky's lawyers also fault Amendola for failing to move to quash the grand jury charges against Sandusky because of illegal grand jury leaks.

Amendola was aware that former Patriot News reporter Sara Ganim "had the name and phone number of an agent involved in the investigation and was providing it to potential witnesses," but did nothing to investigate, Sandusky's lawyers write.

Ganim, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on Sandusky, wrote the first story about the supposedly secret Sandusky grand jury investigation, on March 30, 2011, so somebody in the know was obviously leaking grand jury secrets to her. In that article, Ganim cited a prior 1998 investigation into another Sandusky shower incident. Somebody had obviously leaked to Ganim a police report from the prior 1998 case that had turned up no crime, and was supposed to be expunged.

In their brief, Sandusky's lawyers write that Ganim "approached the mother of accuser 6," Deb McCord, according to the testimony of State Police Corporal Joseph Leiter, and gave the mother the name and phone number for an investigator assigned to the attorney general's office.

Ganim, according to the brief, had a message for McCord:

"Debra, it's Sara from the Patriot. I just want to pass along this agent's name and number. The Attorney General has expressed interest in helping you."

Sandusky's lawyers say the trial judge was at fault for not allowing the defense to call Ganim as a witness, so they could ask about the grand jury leaks.

After the initial Ganim article, Ronald Petrosky, a retired Penn State janitor, came forward to accuse
Sandusky of another shower incident.

At the Sandusky trial, prosecutors were allowed to present hearsay evidence via Ronald Petrosky that another retired janitor, James Calhoun, had allegedly "observed Jerry Sandusky molesting a child in the Lasch Building shower."

Sandusky's appeal lawyers fault trial lawyer Amendola for not telling the jury that 13 months prior to the trial, Calhoun had given a taped interview to a state trooper where he denied that it was Sandusky he saw in the shower having sex with a boy.

At trial, however, Sandusky was found guilty of abusing "victim 8," identity unknown. Sandusky's appeal lawyers also faulted Amendola for not objecting when prosecutor Joseph McGettigan told the jury that the identity of Victim No. 2 -- the boy Mike McQueary had allegedly witnessed being anally raped in the showers by Sandusky -- was "known only to God."

At the time, the prosecutors knew that Allan Myers had claimed to be the boy in the showers with Sandusky, and they had done nothing to denied it, Sandusky's lawyers write. Myers told state troopers that he and Sandusky were snapping towels in the shower, which could have accounted for the "slapping sounds" heard by McQueary.

Myers told corporal Corporal Jospeh Leiter and Trooper James Ellis in 2011 that "The grand jury report says Coach McQuearry said he observed Jerry and I engaged in sexual activity. This is not the truth and McQueary is not telling the truth. Nothing occurred that night in the shower."

But Amendola was so incompetent he never presented Myers's statements to the jury, Sandusky's appeal lawyers write.

In their brief, Sandusky's lawyers also hit Amendola for not presenting any expert witness testimony "regarding repressed or false memories" of the alleged victims.

Amendola knew about recordings "showing suggestive police questioning and learning that therapy was used to enhance the memories of the accusers," Sandusky's lawyers write. Yet, Amendola did not challenge "the reliability of the accusers or present expert testimony on suggestive questioning" by police and therapists.

In their brief, Sandusky's lawyers quote the testimony of Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a renowned expert on memory.

In an appeal hearing, Loftus testified that Aaron Fisher, Victim No. 1 in the Sandusky case, "had a therapist who appeared to have convinced his patient that he had repressed memories of abuse."

Aaron Fisher "did undergo a type of repressed memory therapy . . . designed to get people to remember things that somebody thinks they have repressed or forgotten," Loftus testified.

There is "no credible scientific evidence" to support the theory of massive repression of traumatic memories, and subsequent recovery of those repressed memories, Sandusky's lawyers write.

The theory of repressed memory "is so controversial that in many other jurisdictions, accusers who claim to have repressed memories that have been recovered, the cases are even dismissed because of the controversial nature of that theory," Loftus testified.

In their brief, Sandusky's lawyers quote Silent No More, the book written by Fisher with his therapist, Mike Gillum.

Prior to therapy, Fisher "never acknowledged any sexual abuse" by Sandusky, his lawyers write. Fisher's book "suggests Gillum used suggestive questioning to ferret out Mr. Sandusky's alleged abuse," Sandusky's lawyers write.

The lawyers quote Fisher from Silent No More: "Mike [Gillum] just kept saying that Jerry was the exact profile of a predator. When it finally sank in, I felt angry."

The Sandusky brief also cites "pervasive and virulent" publicity during the Sandusky case. The trial attracted 240 reporters and 30 TV trucks.


  1. Excellent article, living for the day when prosecutors and the media are named in defendants appeals. It just goes to prove if the media wants you to be guilty they work tirelessly to convince the public of a defendant's guilt.

    I suppose now I know why they never retract what they print,even when they learn of facts that do not support their original theory, they would have to admit to being prejudiced by the prosecution and fulfilling their own agendas to convict a defendant.

  2. When will George emerge with a piece about Dinardo's mob connection?

  3. Loftus is a professional witness on the FMSF advisory board. She will say whatever the defense needs her to for a fee. She testified for Ted Bundy at one point. Just more of Big trial being a mouthpiece for Sandusky's defense.

    1. We're a mouthpiece for sanity.

    2. Unfortunately, Loftus is very WRONG about Aaron Fisher. Aaron Fisher admitted to sexual contact the first time he was interviewed on November 20, 2008. This information is on Clinton County CYS's intake report. It was also testified to by caseworker Jessica Dershem.

      Sandusky's lawyers are playing games with words. Fisher did not immediately admit to the police that he had oral sex with Sandusky. However, he told police he was indecently assaulted. Later on, he disclosed it was more. This is a very typical pattern for victims of sexual abuse.

  4. Do you believe Jerry Sandusky to be innocent of the misconduct he was accused (and at this point convicted) of, or anything similar? I ask this as a person who has great approbations about the conduct of the legal system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    1. I think he deserves a new trial. I am disturbed by the evidence in this case, which appears to have been manufactured, by the behavior of the prosecutors, who wrote an untruthful grand jury report, and by the mob mentality of the media.

      Whether Jerry is innocent or not is an intriguing question that I don't have the answer to.

  5. So it appears that Sandusky may be innocent after all. However, and someone correct me if I am wrong, didn't Sandusky's adopted son also accuse him of molesting him when he was a minor?

    1. Anon,
      In my opinion Sandusky is NOT innocent of sexually abusing boys. But I also believe that the corrupt Attorney General's office under Tom Corbett heaped up so many additional falsehoods on to what Sandusky actually did. He was definitely denied a proper defense. Because, that would have exposed Corbett's and Freeh's dishonesty in trying to force a Second Mile/Sandusky scandal into becoming a PSU scandal. Corbett's intention was to destroy PSU and Graham Spanier through false shower rape stories. That's why McQueary got so much money for his tale----over 7 million! These lies made it all a PSU scandal designed by Louis Freeh and Tom Corbett.

      All of Sandusky's molesting occurred in his home, hotel rooms, overnight Second Mile camps or in automobiles. In other words, on his time, Second Mile's time and in private, not at PSU.

      And yes, Matthew Sandusky was abused by his adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky. Another adopted son Jeff, 41, has recently been arrested for possessing child pornography and for the sexual abuse of at least two minors. So there's no question about what Jerry Sandusky is----a pedophile. And there's no question that abusing his sons has left them with deep emotional scars.

      The corrupt Governor of PA, Tom Corbett ignored and thereby enabled Sandusky's crimes for about a decade. When news of Sandusky's pedophilia finally began leaking out into the public, Corbett had to save his own skin for not acting on complaints previously filed against Sandusky while he was employed by The Second Mile. And thus, we have the falsely accused Spanier, the two coerced guilty pleas from Curley and Schultz, and the PSU label on it all.

  6. Sure Matt did...after he realized how much $$$ playing the victim card was worth. He had Andrew Shubin write up a nice fraudulent script to present to PSU. How PSU is liable for the abuse of an adopted child placed in JS's custody by Child Protective Services and a judge is like Zeno's Paradox. And how many "abused" children petition the court to be adopted by someone who sexually abused them??

    1. GV,
      Regardless of where the money was coming from doesn't change the fact that Matt was abused as a child. A reasonable person cannot expect a person, abused as a child, to ignore damages being offered for that abuse. Even though the money was coming from the wrong place, thanks to Tom Corbett, Matt rightfully took it to start his foundation that will do a lot of good in this world.

      Yes, PSU being liable for state government failures is ridiculous. But that was Tom Corbett's intention---to fraudulently open up the "endless" reserves of PSU to pay for something they're not responsible for. It took the public eye off of HIS negligence as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

    2. PSU was not legally liable for Matt Sandusky because his alleged abuse was well beyond the statute of limitations and occurred off campus. PSU's insurance company would not have paid his claim but PSU did. He didn't get millions. The insurance company revealed in the lawsuit with PSU that 14 old claimants split $4 million.

  7. Thank you Ralph for another excellent article on the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno fiasco. You may have been a little late to the game, but once you made your appearance you have covered the story in an objective way that no other journalist has. Once this story is uncovered for the perversion of justice that it is, and it will eventually be uncovered, your articles should be recognized as breakthrough for unraveling just what happened.

    You have highlighted some of the key issues in the PCRA post-hearing brief, but there are a lot more compelling issues. I would encourage everyone to go to the Centre County web pages and read the actual 257 page brief. Here is the url:

    If you don't want to read the entire brief, at least read the summary (pages 252-257). The summary of the procedural history (pages 1-8) is good background material, but the meat of the brief are the discussions around the 31 issues that Lindsay and Salamme present.

    I don't believe that any of the 31 are specious, but the ones that I believe are the most compelling are: Issue 1 (pages 17-27) on the ill-advised interview with Bob Costas, Issues 3, 4, and 5 (pages 37-49) on walking back Sandusky testifying in his own defense and failing to preclude Matt Sandusky testifying at trial, Issues 6 (pages 49-53) on inadequately reviewing discovery and the ridiculous statement that nothing in discovery would have helped, Issue 8 (pages 59-72) on Brady violations including withholding inconsistent statements from the accusers, Issues 9 and 10 (pages 72-96) on repressed memory therapy, Issue 14 (pages 119-123) on failing to get victim 8 charges thrown out for lack of evidence, Issue 17 (pages 133-137) on the erroneous guilt instruction that left out that character testimony alone can lead to reasonable doubt, Issue 18 (pages 137-143) on failing to introduce the statement by Allan Myers (alleged victim 2) that nothing untoward happened in the 2001 shower incident, Issue 26 (pages 186-196) on failing to object to McGettigan's closing statement that victim 2 was known only to God, Issue 27 (pages 196-211) on waiving the preliminary hearing and failing to use that proceeding to cross-examine the accusers and Issue 28 (page 211-222) on failing to file a motion to quash the grand jury presentment based on government misconduct in tainting the grand jury process.

    1. Steve,
      The Sandusky Appeal is the mirror image of the grand jury presentment in that only a partial set of facts are used to support the position that Jerry is innocent and all contrary facts are omitted.

      First, everyone in the world saw just how badly Jerry Sandusky was in interviews with Costas and the New York Time's Jo Becker. Amendola was smart for not putting Jerry on the stand. Besides, once Jerry learned that Matt would testify as a rebuttal witness, it was HIS decision not to testify.

      At a recent hearing, psychologist Mike Gillum testified he never used and DOES NOT use RMT. There is no evidence of any victim undergoing RMT. Counseling, sure. Actual RMT? No.

      As for inconsistent statements of accusers, you believe Myers statement of November 9, 2011 should have been presented at the trial. Ok. How about his next two statements in which he claimed he was molested? BTW, the OAG would have exposed Myers other statement in which he stated his MOTHER made up the story about him slapping the shower walls and that he went along with it. In other words, all that would have happened is that Myers would have been exposed for what he was -- an unreliable witness. His testimony would have done nothing EXCEPT waste the court's time. Amendola was smart not to call him.

      McGettigan testified, based on Myers inconsistent statements and Myers drawing of the locker room, that he did not believe Myers was Victim 2. There was nothing wrong with McGettigan stating the obvious -- that Victim 2 remained unknown at the time of the trial -- just as he does today.

      There was a lot of things wrong at the trial, but unfortunately for Jerry Sandusky, Al Lindsay didn't bother to raise some of Joe Amendola's biggest errors at the trial. Twice, Amendola had the opportunity to introduce REASONABLE DOUBT that Sandusky was molesting children at TSM by putting the blame on SOMEONE else at the charity. Amendola didn't do it. Neither has Lindsay.

      I'm all for Jerry getting a new trial based on the unholy alliance between Judge Cleland, Amendola, and the prosecutors to ensure that TSM wasn't harmed. Unfortunately, that won't change with a new trial and neither will the ultimate verdicts.

    2. Myers being an unreliable witness may have helped the defense because all they needed was reasonable doubt.

      If Myers was not victim 2 then who was victim 2 and why didn't he come forward to help convict Sandusky and collect millions from PSU?

  8. Thanks, Steve, for your kind comments. If only the mainstream media was interested in reexamining a story they blew to hell. But of course, they're not.

  9. Based on analysis, it is almost certain that the Harrisburg Patriot News had the 1998 PSU police report in its possession prior to hiring Sara Ganim. In November 2011, it claimed that Ganim received the 1998 police report in early 2011, however....

    PN Reporter, Jan Murphy, called PSU in September (really, October) 2010 to inquire if there had been a previous investigation of Sandusky. What else would prompt a question like that?

    Also, according to Mike Gillum, DAG Jonelle Eschbach and trooper Scott Rossman informed him in JUNE 2009 that they had evidence of the 1998 incident.

    The OAG lied about so many dates in this case -- and so has the Patriot News. The OAG had the 1998 police report when the case was transferred to them in March 2009 -- yet they claim to not have recovered it until January 3, 2011.

  10. It's easy to see why the OAG lied about the 1998 police report. It revealed a huge failure by Children and Youth Services (CYS), PA Dept. of Public Welfare (DPW), Centre County DA's office, Second Mile and, quite likely, the OAG itself, which has oversight over PA children's charities.

    I find it hard to believe that the OAG didn't get a heads up about the 1998 investigation from CYS, DPW or the DA's office. The PA Attorney General in 1998 was Mike Fisher, now a federal judge. I've never heard that he was questioned about the 1998 Sandusky investigation.


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