Amendola Expands on Comments Made on NBC's 'Today'
Joseph Amendola, the lead attorney representing Jerry Sandusky, followed up on a "Today" appearance with a written statement late Wednesday afternoon.
Amendola appeared with Ann Curry on the NBC broadcast Wednesday morning. In the interview, he offered an explanation of how and why Sandusky, accused of child sexual abuse, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Bellefonte.
His written follow-up statement, issued to reporters later in the day, addresses some elements of his "Today" comments. The full, unedited text of the statement is pasted below.
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
December 14, 2011
I was interviewed earlier this morning, December 14, 2011, by Ann Curry on the Today show on NBC. Prior to my interview with Ann, I also was interviewed by representatives from Good Morning America on ABC and the Early Show on CBS. Following my interview with Ann Curry, I was interviewed by representatives from MSNBC and CNN.
During the course of my interview with Ann Curry on the Today show, I spoke about the details which led up to Jerry Sandusky's decision to waive his preliminary hearing yesterday. By way of background, the attorney for the Commonwealth had attempted to contact me by phone over the weekend unsuccessfully. I returned his phone call during the day on Monday, December 13, 2011, at which time he was kind enough to advise me he was ready to proceed with the preliminary hearing and anticipated calling eleven (11) witnesses. He also advised me he intended to request an increase in Jerry's bail following the preliminary hearing. I then contacted the Commonwealth attorney early Monday evening to inquire about the possibility of an agreement whereby Jerry would waive his preliminary hearing on Tuesday in exchange for certain assurances from the Commonwealth, the most important of which was an agreement that the Commonwealth would not seek to increase Jerry's bail prior to his trial. The Commonwealth attorney advised me he wanted to discuss my proposal with his superiors. He then contacted me around 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening to advise me my proposal was acceptable. We then met in-person and confirmed, among other things, that, in exchange for Jerry waiving his preliminary hearing on Tuesday, the Commonwealth would not seek to increase his bail prior to trial so long as he did not violate any of his current bail conditions.
Following my conversation with the Commonwealth attorney earlier today, I obtained a copy of the transcript of my interview with Ann Curry on the Today show early this morning. In regard to the issue of bail, I stated the following during my interview:
"First of all, let me clarify something, credibility is never an issue at a preliminary hearing. That wasn't something we discovered yesterday or the day before. We waived for a very simple reason. The night before the commonwealth attorney contacted me to talk about the preliminary hearing details. In that conversation, he indicated that he was going to request following the hearing an increase in bail, and if there were any additional charges filed between yesterday and the time of trial, he would request additional bail. It's very important to me, as Jerry 's attorney, and very important to Jerry , that he remain out on bail, so he can properly assist us and the defense team in the preparation of his defense. The Commonwealth attorney said he would not request a bail increase, and the current charges or any additional charges if Jerry waived his preliminary hearing. That was a big concession, because it's very vitally important Jerry stay out of jail. That conversation took place on the eve of the preliminary hearing at about 7:00. We then had a meeting. We then memorialized that meeting, and based upon that meeting at about 10:00 on Monday night, we agreed to waive the hearing".
To eliminate any uncertainty about how the issue of Jerry's waiver of his preliminary hearing arose, I want to clearly state I initiated discussions concerning a waiver of Jerry's preliminary hearing following an earlier discussion on Monday with the Commonwealth attorney in which he advised me it was his intent to ask for a bail increase following Jerry's hearing. The discussion concerning the waiver of the preliminary hearing was not initiated by the Commonwealth attorney. To the extent this part of my interview with Ann Curry was misleading, I apologize for any misconception which may have arisen concerning the circumstances relating to who initiated the waiver of preliminary hearing discussions which took place on Monday. It was not my intent to mislead anyone concerning the circumstances which led to the waiver of Jerry's preliminary hearing. Any confusion concerning this issue which may have arisen as a result of my interview with Ann Curry was inadvertent and unintentional on my part.
I hope I have clarified this situation concerning my comments made during my interview on the Today show relating to the conversations which took place between the Commonwealth attorney and me on Monday concerning the waiver of Jerry's preliminary hearing.