Attorney Amendola and his client, accused molester Jerry Sandusky, have suddenly this morning- at the last minute – waived the preliminary hearing scheduled in Bellefonte, Pa., at which it was expected that many of the victim-witnesses might testify. There is the possibility that Sandusky himself did have a “change of heart” last night about going forward with today’s hearing (a hearing which, in many cases, is waived because it so often is a mere formality leading to trial); but if so, why didn’t Amendola contact all parties last night, even at some very late hour, to tell them, and save them not only the trip to Bellafonte, but also the obvious anguish associated with anticipating the need to testify publicly?
The most logical interpretation of this surprise waiver is that this is one more instance of Amendola and Sandusky playing hardball with alleged victims, much like an opposing coach “ices” a field-goal kicker by calling a time-out just before the game-deciding kick. It’s legal. It’s strategy. But it’s cold-hearted.
“Figuring out” whether someone has committed a crime — for casual observers, reporters, or even juries – involves what might be called an “Advent Calendar” process, in which the observer is continually opening windows large and small, to see what sketch, nugget or fact is revealed there.
And what’s been revealed here directly contradicts what appears to be a fundamental element of Sandusky’s (and Amendola’s) defense: that these boys with whom he consorted were not sexual objects or partners, but merely “friends” or “mentees” to whom he provided appropriate, well-intentioned, and good-hearted adult support. (Amendola has made much, for example, of the fact that some of the alleged victims remain so “friendly” that they’ve had dinner at the Sandusky residence, even as recently as last summer.)
Basic, common decency is the standard I’ll hold Sandusky and his attorney to: what they’ve done today is the kind of thing no decent adult would inflict on kids, or post-adolescent “mentees.” “Icing” these victim-witnesses today was mean-spirited and cold-hearted, and one more window into the soul of a narcissistic monster.