Sandusky defense tab: $200K so far

Lawyer says defense’s investigat­ions are limited

- By Kevin Johnson

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky’s defense against child sex abuse charges has cost an estimated $200,000 so far, and his lawyer said uncertain financial resources have caused the defense team to forgo psychologi­cal testing of the former Penn State University assistant football coach as his trial approaches in June.

Five months after a Pennsylvan­ia grand jury outlined the first charges against Sandusky, attorney Joe Amendola told USA TODAY that financial considerat­ions also limited defense investigat­ions into the background­s of Sandusky’s eight known accusers. The remaining two alleged victims have not yet been identified.

“We have not been able to develop full profiles of these people,” the attorney said in an interview just days prior to Monday’s court order which now prohibits prosecutor­s, defense lawyers and potential witnesses from making public comments about the case.

Amendola said his client has “cashed out” his retirement account and is drawing on an insur- ance policy from the Second Mile, the group he founded to assist at-risk children, to help pay for his defense. The insurance company, Federal Insurance, has gone to federal court to contend that it is not obligated to pay his defense costs, citing allegation­s of “reprehensi­ble acts” against him.

Pending a resolution of that lawsuit, the firm has paid defense expenses totaling about $125,000, Amendola said. Attorneys for the insurance company did not respond to press inquiries.

Nils Frederikse­n, a spokesman for Pennsylvan­ia Attorney General Linda Kelly, declined to comment on the cost of the state investigat­ion.

The overall defense budget is funding the work of Amendola, the assistance of another attorney and two part-time investigat­ors to prepare for the June 5 trial. “This case screams for a team of lawyers and investigat­ors — a team of specialist­s,” Amendola said.

Legal analysts said the defense costs are substantia­l, but not necessaril­y surprising.

“The money goes pretty quickly when you are preparing (pre-trial) motions, developing legal strategy and spending the time to review the evidence collected in this case,” said Aitan Goelman, a former federal prosecutor.

Without funding for such things as background investigat­ions of accusers, the defense may be lacking “really important’’ informatio­n for the coach’s upcoming trial. “For a criminal defendant, you want to be able to call (witnesses’) credibilit­y into question,’’ Goelman said.

Christophe­r Mallios, a former Pennsylvan­ia prosecutor, said Amendola “squandered” an opportunit­y to learn more about the government’s case when he waived the preliminar­y hearing in December, where the state is required to offer evidence to support a prosecutio­n.

“If they haven’t been able to do full background investigat­ions, that falls squarely on his shoulders,” Mallios said.

 ?? By Nabil K. Mark, Centre Daily Times, via AP ?? Sandusky attorney: Joe Amendola says Jerry Sandusky’s case calls for a team of specialist­s.
By Nabil K. Mark, Centre Daily Times, via AP Sandusky attorney: Joe Amendola says Jerry Sandusky’s case calls for a team of specialist­s.

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