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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty
Aired June 22, 2012 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening every one.
There is breaking news tonight at this hour. We are awaiting a verdict in the Jerry Sandusky child rape case, 48 charges against the former Penn State assistant coach. Originally, there were 51 charges. Three of them, however, were thrown out.
So there are now 48 charges for this jury to consider, seven women on the jury, five men, 10 accusers in all, although only eight accusers actually testified. And a new accuser has come forward, of course, Jerry Sandusky's adopted son Matt. But that is not something that the jury is supposed to be considering tonight, a scandal the likes of which Pennsylvania has not seen in years.
The jury deliberated for almost 21 hours after a trial that was brief but brutally wrenching when it comes to what those jurors heard.
Now, earlier today, the defense attorney, Joe Amendola, said he would be shocked when he was asked by reporters, shocked if they acquitted his client on all charges. In fact, he said he would probably die of a heart attack. We will know in just a few minutes what happened.
Susan Candiotti is outside the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Jason Carroll is inside where the verdict will be read. So is CNN contributor Sara Ganim, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of this story. We will also be talking to our Jeff Toobin and Mark Geragos for legal angles.
And, Susan Candiotti, as we're looking right now, we see a lot of people sitting on the courthouse steps. Are those people who have just recently gathered or have they been there all along?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, throughout the day, people have been hanging around this courthouse and especially as the hours went on into the night, there was a real sense of drama building here, Anderson, and a sense of electricity in the air that something was going to happen tonight. Why?
We're into the second day of deliberations, as you said. They spent about 21 hours. This trial started nine days ago. It has gone so quickly, and there was just the sense it's the end of the week, something is going to happen tonight.
And, Anderson, this is a man, Jerry Sandusky, who called himself a tickle monster, according to one of his accusers. And now we will soon find out whether or not this jury is deciding that he is a monster of a different kind, or whether they will acquit him of these charges.
Everyone is waiting to find out.
COOPER: As we said, 48 counts is what the jury has been deliberating now. Susan, stick around.
I want to bring in our legal panel, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos. He does us on the phone. So is legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Mark Geragos, you have waited for a lot of juries to come up with a verdict. What are your thoughts at this point of the evening before we know what's happening?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think I said the other night that I didn't think it would be a slam dunk for the prosecution.
You have got 21 hours worth of deliberations, which I think is longer than most people thought they would deliberate. But Friday is the bewitching hour for most juries and most verdicts. And I would not be -- my sentiments would not be that much more different than Joe's. I think I would be shocked as well if it was an acquittal across the board.
COOPER: You say that because simply playing the odds or because the prosecution, the preponderance, they proved their case, you believe?
GERAGOS: No. My general feeling on cases like this, when you have got somebody with this kind of attention and this kind of high profile, and there's been 21 hours worth of deliberations, and the general feeling is, is that the evidence was overwhelming, and I think that whoever was holding out, whatever jurors were holding out, they just tend to wear down towards the end on a Friday afternoon, Friday evening, when the kind of prospects of returning for another day of deliberations.
And that just tends -- for whatever reason, in my experience, Friday evening or Friday afternoon tends to be the bewitching hour and it is generally not good for the defendant.
COOPER: We're also joined by two former prosecutors, Jeff Toobin and Sunny Hostin.
Jeff Toobin, what do you think about as you await this jury? Because we know that they asked today to look over the transcripts of testimony by Mike McQueary, one of the coaches who says he saw Jerry Sandusky in the showers with a very young boy, with Jerry Sandusky pressed up against this young boy.
Also, they reviewed a defense witness transcripts who said that the initial story that Jerry Sandusky had told him differs from what he said on the stand. JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is an overwhelming case.
His attorney is guilty of the crime of honesty, because he, like everyone else who has followed this case closely, I think, I don't want to speak for every one, but I certainly -- I speak for many, we'd all have heart attacks if there was an acquittal here, because there was close to no defense in this case.
Sure, the defense raised the possibility that some of the witnesses had told different versions of the story. They raised the issue of some of them might want -- having a financial motive to sue Penn State.
But when you have eight defendants...
COOPER: We lost Jeff Toobin.
TOOBIN: That is almost irrefutable evidence. And given how long this jury was out, which was not very long, it just all seems to point to a guilty verdict.
COOPER: Sunny Hostin, do you agree with that? You think it points to a guilty verdict?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think there's no question about that, Anderson.
And the bottom line is that the questions that the jury asked I think were the questions that we all expected, because while there were eight victims that testified, there were 10 victims that existed in the indictment.
And so there were two victims that were unidentified and Mike McQueary and this janitor, Ron Petrosky, a janitor at Penn State, testified as to those alleged assault. And that if you recall is the evidence that the jury seemed to have been struggling with, the evidence, sort of the corroborative evidence.
So you didn't have alleged victims testifying for those particular counts. And that would be alleged victims number two and number eight. And I agree with Jeff. This wasn't really a long deliberation, let's face it, 48 counts, 10 alleged victims.
They just got the case on Thursday. It's Friday evening. And so, this is not a long time. And if you look at history, historically, a quick verdict inures to the benefit of the prosecution. So with a 48-count case, with the jury with a verdict on a Friday afternoon or Friday evening, that points historically to a guilty verdict.
COOPER: Marcia Clark is also joining us now here in Los Angeles.
Marcia Clark, again, you have waited for many juries to come through. What's your reading of a 21-hour deliberation in a case with 48 counts. Do you think we're going to see some sort of a conviction tonight?
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Anderson, I have been predicting a conviction for some time now.
I think the testimony has been extremely compelling. And the fact that they -- only 21 hours for 48 counts, remember, this was a very simple case. There is no DNA, you don't have a whole of physical experts, you don't have a lot of experts to step through, not even that many inconsistent statements for them to weave their way through.
When it came right down to it, you either believe these young men or you don't. And I think, very clearly, I think very clearly this verdict is going to show that they did, as they should, believe these young men.
With regard to the testimony read-back of McQueary and the inconsistent statements that were reportedly made by him, I agree with Sunny that I never thought that was a bad sign. I knew the jury would struggle with the fact that there was no victim on the stand for his count and that he was the only witness to recount what happened.
And so the jury might want to be very, very careful with that particular set of counts and say, you know, we didn't have the victim here. He described what he described, but he didn't do it consistently. And so they might cut him on slack on the continues involving that victim who did not appear. But the rest of them who did, I think it's going to be a guilty verdict.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, we heard from the defense, and as you said they really didn't put on much of a defense. There were some character witnesses. Dottie Sandusky testified that she has pretty good hearing, she did not hear a child screaming for help at any point, as one of the alleged victims said that he did.
The defense tried to bring up the idea of histrionic personality disorder. Do you think that was effective and how did they try to use that to kind of explain some of the behavior or the writings of Jerry Sandusky?
TOOBIN: Well, I think the defense got a little undue criticism for raising that.
They were not raising it -- they were not raising the histrionic personality disorder to explain why he was abusing children. They were trying to explain his reaction to the allegations, his -- his response to how he behaved once he was accused.
I mean, look, I don't think the jury is going to believe it. I don't think histrionic personality disorder had anything to do with this case. But I also don't begrudge defense attorneys defending their clients.
Joe Amendola did not have a lot to work with. We sometimes criticize defense attorneys for not coming up with a smoking gun of innocence without recognizing that sometimes it's just not is there.
COOPER: Let's -- 45 guilty, three not guilty, that's the word I'm just getting right now, 25 felonies, 14 first-degree felonies, 400 -- excuse me, how many?
Four hundred and -- 442 years would be the maximum sentence. Let's listen to the crowd reaction.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
COOPER: Again, Jerry Sandusky declared by a jury of his peers guilty on 45 of 48 counts relating to the sexual abuse of a number of children, eight victims who have testified, allegations of abuse over the course of 15 years, 25 felony counts, 14 first-degree felonies, maximum time in jail is 442 years.
Jeff, what do you make of the sentence?
TOOBIN: He's going to die in prison, where he should die.
This is an evil, evil man. And he was -- Penn State will suffer for many, many years asking why he was not caught sooner. And I think the evil inside this man probably we will never understand. But maybe we can learn something about how big, powerful institutions deal with these accusations, because there were children molested after Penn State had plenty of warning that this evil man was in their midst, and they never stopped him and shame on Penn State.
COOPER: We're going to talk to our Jason Carroll, who was in the courtroom and those people you saw running out were a variety of reports and court watchers who were running out to get to their respective locations. You saw Jason Carroll, and we will talk to him momentarily about what Jerry Sandusky's reaction was to this.
We're told Jason Carroll is ready.
Jason, what happened in the courtroom when this verdict was read, and particularly did you see any reaction from Jerry Sandusky?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, from my vantage point, I was able to see reaction from all points of view.
First, let me talk about Jerry Sandusky himself. As he walked into the courtroom, he sat down. He did not look at his family, who were sitting pretty much to his right towards the back. As the guilty verdicts started to be read, one after another, Anderson, Jerry Sandusky looked straight ahead.
He remained absolutely without emotion. I then looked to my right. I looked at Dottie Sandusky. As the first verdict came in, the guilty verdicts came in -- you can actually hear some of the cheering going on behind me. That's just from the crowds that have gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse. But as the verdicts came in, Dottie Sandusky just started to blink, repeatedly started to blink over and over again. Seated next to her, her daughter Kara (ph) remained without emotion. The same thing with her son Jeff.
But it was her other son Jon (ph) who sat directly behind her who became in a way overcome with emotion as one guilty verdict after another guilty verdict came in. He had his head in his hands. He seemed very distraught and at one point he reached forward and grabbed a bench.
Sitting behind me was victim number six. He was the one who was assaulted by Jerry Sandusky in a shower at Penn State, inappropriately touched. Once all of the verdicts were read, Anderson, he was there with some of the members of his family and they all leaned over and began to hug each other in the bench.
And then when it was all over, after all the guilty verdicts had been read, of course it's up to the defense to try to argue to keep Jerry Sandusky under house arrest. That request was denied. He was immediately taken into custody. He was led out of the courtroom. He was not in handcuffs at that point, but as he was led out, his adopted son John leaned forward once again with his head in his hands.
It was quite emotional to see both of these different sides. You had victim number six there in the courtroom...
COOPER: Jason, let me just say this is Jerry Sandusky leaving the courthouse. This is a live picture we're seeing I believe of Jerry Sandusky leaving the courthouse in handcuffs.
This is the first we have seen of Jerry Sandusky since the verdict.
Mark Geragos, in a case like this, where is Jerry Sandusky now taken in something like this? What happens to him now?
GERAGOS: They're going to take him straight to their local jail. He doesn't go straight to state prison, because it's going to be pending sentencing.
So right now, they will take him, they will strip off all of his clothes, search him. They will book him into custody, and then they will probably, most jurisdictions will put him under 24/7 observation, at least for the first 72 hours. Suicide watch is what they call it in the nomenclature.
And that's generally going to be standard operating procedure because they figure that people are most distraught immediately after something like this.
COOPER: And in terms of sentencing, Mark, how soon would that likely be? We're told 442 years is the maximum number of years he could receive. What goes into that determination? GERAGOS: Well, they just take -- what they do is, is, there's a formula.
Each count carries with it a certain time period that's attached to it. Mathematically, you can do these things so you that get, as you just indicated, hundreds and hundreds of years. It really didn't matter, because a conviction on virtually any of these counts amounts to tantamount to a life sentence for somebody this age.
I know you didn't ask the question, Anderson, but I'll tell you, as you look at that picture, and my first reaction was, I remember where I was when I first was watching CNN and heard this story. And I was kind of sitting in disbelief. And I'm now watching this. And, you know, there's something -- it's awfully sad, it's an awful story.
But there's something even, I think, surreal about this crowd over there cheering, kind of like the Christians to the lions kind of mentality. It doesn't make you really feel real good about any of this.
COOPER: So many families tonight and for many years now broken by the actions of this man, including his own family in many respects.
Sunny, we have heard now, we just learned in fact yesterday for the first time that Matt Sandusky, an adopted Jerry Sandusky, was willing to testify that he had also suffered abuse, something apparently he hadn't told the grand jury, something he only told prosecutors through his attorneys just earlier this week or late last week.
Is it likely now, given that Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty on 45 counts, that there would be another trial for any allegations of abuse by Matt Sandusky, or is that done?
HOSTIN: I don't know that that's likely, because, again, you have got a guilty verdict on 45 out of 48 counts. He's got exposure of almost 500 years.
And so does the state, the commonwealth want to go forward with another prosecution, having Matt Sandusky having to testify against his adoptive father? Is that something that really will happen? Unlikely, Anderson, especially because he did not come forward initially.
I don't know that it's necessary in a case like this, unless, of course, Matt Sandusky feels that he needs that justice since he has reported. So, I don't know that that is likely, but it certainly is possible.
I mean, many legal experts, Anderson, are saying that there could be incest charges lodged against Jerry Sandusky, because, while adopted, that is his son. And so perhaps we will see more from this terrible, terrible saga and tragedy. But I just -- I can't imagine that that's likely.
COOPER: And, Marcia Clark, as we look again at that videotape that we just saw of Jerry Sandusky leaving the courtroom, leaving the courthouse in handcuffs, being taken away to a local jail, now knowing that, as Jeff said, he will die in prison, he will never get out, we're told sentencing will be within 90 days.
Marcia, you have been in a lot of courtrooms when people are convicted. What does somebody like him -- do you ever have somebody like him who said he has been not guilty all along suddenly then admit what he has done after the verdict has already come in?
CLARK: Yes, not child molesters.
COOPER: Not child molesters.
CLARK: Others, yes, child molesters never. In my experience handling it from both the prosecution and defense side, I have never seen one of them admit to having been inappropriate, even as much as inappropriate. In their own minds, they justify it as something that is loving and a relationship that no one understands, blah, blah, blah.
But to admit and say, yes, you have got me and I'm sorry for whatever, I don't expect to see that. At most, I would say the defense will stand up and say it for him at the time of sentencing in order to plea for leniency. And the defense attorney will say, he's been convicted. We accept the conviction, we accept the jury's verdict, but after all, he's this old, he's this, that and the other thing. And he will argue for leniency.
I don't think, though, Sandusky will stand up and admit to anything.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, I'm curious. You have been covering this trial from day one. You have been very involved. You talked to a lot of the accusers against Jerry Sandusky as well as their attorneys, and you have talked to Sandusky's attorney as well over the course of many months now.
When you Sandusky now him being led out, what do you think, what stands out to you about this verdict, about this evening?
CARROLL: Well, a couple of things, a couple of things that I wasn't able to reveal before because of a gag order, but which I can reveal now.
I think there's a reason why at least some members of Jerry Sandusky's family didn't appear to be as emotional as Jonathan (ph), his adopted son, was. And that is because his attorney -- I'm sorry.
COOPER: Sorry. Jason, we're seeing Dottie Sandusky now. This is also her leaving, being hugged by well-wishers.
There are people who have been standing by the Sandusky family. She is now walking off, her testimony clearly not swaying jurors, as the defense had hoped.
Jason Carroll, I'm sorry, though. Continue, though. You were saying there are some things you can reveal.
And that speaks to Dottie Sandusky as you were just saying -- talking about her leaving the courtroom. Inside the courtroom, as I said, she remained pretty stoic throughout the entire time that the guilty verdicts were being read.
And I think that is because she was prepared for this. You know, Joe Amendola told me long ago that he thought this was going to be an uphill battle. And he had shared that with the Sandusky family. He went into this, Anderson, knowing that the outcome that we see here tonight was very likely the outcome that he had said that he knew it was coming weeks ago.
And so I think, in some ways, some members of the family were prepared for this. But on the flip side of this, just a few days ago -- and I remember talking to you about this -- when I ran into victim number six standing right outside here not far from this courtroom, you could see the pain on his face.
And that's the other thing that really remains with me, the utmost amount of pain on the accusers' face as they took the stand. Accuser number one, when he took the stand, he looked like a shaken young man when he walked up there. He was very frail, and he spoke in very soft tones and the I think it was that kind of testimony, Anderson, that really resonated with the jurors.
One after another, these young men getting up there and telling these similar stories, and the idea that the defense tried to put forth of why they may have waited so long, maybe they were in it for the money, these types of things just didn't seem to hold when it basically came down to these young men standing up there and saying that man sitting there did this to me and I'm in pain -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jason -- and, Jason, we're waiting to speak with Karl Rominger, Jerry Sandusky's co-counsel, also with Tom Kline, an attorney for victim number five.
But, Jason, was there ever any talk of any kind of plea deal? Do we know if defense tried to get a plea, enter into plea discussion or if prosecutors tried to?
CARROLL: I can tell you, Anderson, that that was brought up a number of times, the idea of taking a plea.
Joe Amendola had suggested to Jerry Sandusky early on that this might be the way to go. And I can also tell you that when this whole sort of new sort of wrinkle in the story with Matt Sandusky, his adopted son, came into play, you have to wonder then what sort of discussions were happening behind the scenes. But of course, it was to late. But the idea of a plea was discussed not once, not twice, but numerous times. But Joe Amendola told me whenever he brought the subject up, Anderson, Jerry Sandusky said, I'm innocent, I want to fight this. I want to go to court and fight these charges.
And so ultimately, a defense attorney has to do what his client wants him to do.
COOPER: Mark Geragos, as a defense attorney, what is it like having that conversation with a client where you want them to take a plea and they seem unwilling to enter into that discussion?
GERAGOS: My father, who was my partner for many years, often said when I was dealing with frustrations like that, look, if they made good decisions, they wouldn't need you. So there is a certain amount of resignation to it.
I have gotten into some of the most heated arguments I have ever had in my life with clients over trying to give them or to force them into making decisions that a lot of times they don't want to. It's very difficult. When Marcia was talking about a class of defendants who have never admitted anything, there is some truth to that.
There are certain kinds of alleged or convicted people who are accused of crimes who never can deal with it for numerous reasons. And when you have that discussion, you try and give a reality check. But at the end of the day, Jason said, the duty of the defense lawyer, you are their kind of confessor, you are their counselor, but ultimately you're their zealous advocate and you're there to do what they want you to do within the bounds of your ethical responsibilities.
And if the client is telling you that they're innocent and they want to fight it, you -- that's what you're there to do. You're not there to judge them and their guilt or innocence. You are there to give them an honest appraisal of what the odds are and to tell them, look, based on my experience, based on this evidence, based on the quality of the testimony, this is what I think your odds are. This is what you're facing. You have got to make a decision. Are you willing to risk the rest of your life here?
I think, in this case, though, I'm not so sure that a plea deal ever made much sense, because as a practical matter, a plea to one or two counts was as bad as a conviction on all of the counts ultimately in terms of what the punishment would be.
And so basically it was a kind of roll the dice, all or nothing situation for him. And so I don't know that you can ever say, well, he should have taken a plea or he should have done this or that. A client who is telling you I'm innocent and I want to fight this and you give him an honest appraisal, look, this is what the odds are -- and I have heard it, whether in this case or others -- that's what you do, you lay it out, you lay out what the options are and then you go in there and you fight and you leave your blood on the floor.
COOPER: Right. I'm joined right now by Karl Rominger, Jerry Sandusky's co- counsel.
Mr. Rominger, appreciate you being with us tonight.
How did Jerry Sandusky react to these verdicts? We were told about his visual reaction. Did he say anything to you? Did you have words for him?
KARL ROMINGER, ATTORNEY FOR JERRY SANDUSKY: Listen, we talked about it. We knew that whatever the jury's verdict was, we had to honor it.
Jerry rose. I saw some tears in his eyes. But he's always the honored the court process. He's always been a law-abiding citizen of the community, except for these allegations. And he will continue to be.
And as a sign of respect, he was allowed to walk out of the court without handcuffs. And I that's an important sign to show that Jerry Sandusky can be trusted to go along with the process in our democratic system. And that will include an appeal of the various issues we have identified and will continue to identify.
COOPER: He was placed in handcuffs though as he left the building because we have just seen pictures of him in handcuffs as he's being placed into the police car.
ROMINGER: Well, Anderson, absolutely. That's a protocol, because any time a person is transported, they have to be.
COOPER: In terms of what happens now, I mean, is there -- are there -- and, in your opinion, grounds for an appeal on any level? What do you expect from sentencing?
ROMINGER: Listen, I can get five continuances for a speeding ticket, but Joe Amendola and I were not able to get one continuance for Jerry Sandusky.
That's going to be one of the major issues in the case. The judge was very fair to us on many levels, but there were a lot of unique legal issues where he made rulings that could be overturned, not because they were per se wrong, but because the law in the area was so unclear.
COOPER: What do you mean the law was unclear?
ROMINGER: Well, I will give you an example.
Accuser number eight, the janitor, the government was allowed to go forward with that on a hearsay statement alone. And there's a constitutional issue, under Idaho vs. Wright (ph) and Cromwell vs. Barnes (ph), which is a Pennsylvania case, that are substantial constitutional questions. And the court acknowledged that during oral argument. And while the court went against us, the commonwealth's risk is that if we get accuser number eight overturned on appeal, the entire case could come back, because you can't sort out beyond a reasonable doubt whether that affected the jury's deliberations on any other accusers.
So this entire case, all the convictions could come back on that ruling alone.
COOPER: At any point, did you try to enter into plea negotiations with the prosecution? Did you try to -- did you have to have that discussion at all with Jerry Sandusky?
ROMINGER: Well, there's always -- there's always plea negotiations and plea discussions in cases.
But whether they're real or meaningful, in this case, there was never a meaningful plea offered so it's not even worth discussing.
COOPER: Does Jerry Sandusky still believe or still say that he is innocent?
ROMINGER: Well, Jerry Sandusky understands that the jury's verdict means that he's been found guilty. But Jerry Sandusky will tell you that he didn't do what was alleged, and that's why he's going to appeal.
COOPER: And in terms of the new allegations being made now by Matt Sandusky, what do you make of that?
ROMINGER: Well, I can't go into all the details for one reason in particular, which has to do with grand jury secrecy, but I will say that we are not confident that Matt would have been a good a witness as people have suggested. And the fact that they he was known to the commonwealth during their case in chief and they chose not to call him should tell you something.
COOPER: I know our Jeff Toobin, our legal analyst, is also here with me. If it's OK with you, I know he'd like to ask you a question. Jeff, do you have a question for Karl?
JEFF TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (via phone) Sure. The -- what's your top issue on appeal? You really think a -- eight -- someone convicted of 45 counts of child molestation is going to get a conviction overturned because you didn't get a delay in the trial? I mean, you know...
ROMINGER: That is not going to be...
TOOBIN: ... that is a fairly minor issue.
ROMINGER: A delay in the trial. No. We didn't get a delay in the trial; we couldn't get a single continuance. I am not exaggerating when I say we do typical DUIs, and we get a six months to eight months to a year from the time of charging in Pennsylvania.
We have a serious case like this, we literally get thousands of pages of discovery. Days before trial we were still reading material that we'd never seen while the trial was starting.
Now, we found the tape that shows that the police led the witnesses. If we'd have had more time to build our case, this jury would have seen things a lot differently. Is that a great appellate issue? No, because appellate courts don't always go that way. But it will flavor all our other issues.
TOOBIN: What would they have seen differently if you got six more months?
ROMINGER: If we had six more months, we would have undercovered [SIC] a lot more of what had happened in terms of the leading questions. Remember, we had the tape recording that no one knew about, because the government gave it to us but didn't realize that they had recorded them leading their own witnesses.
COOPER: What do you think the most effective...
TOOBIN: Leading questions? These are very minor issues in -- I mean, there's no allegation that these were invented allegations, were there? There's no allegation that police coached them to lie. Leading questions? That's completely conventional police examination. Is it not?
ROMINGER: No. You obviously weren't at the trial, sir, to hear the tape played, where they went off tape, told the person that -- what details other accusers had gave, said give us graphic descriptions and said, "We're turning the tape back on." If you'd heard that at the trial, you'd understand my position.
COOPER: What do you think was the most effective in terms of the testimony by the prosecution? The evidence that the prosecution presented. Was it -- was it the eight accusers?
ROMINGER: It's the death by a thousand cuts combined with McQueary's testimony and the spurious janitor we can't cross-examine hearsay testimony, which is one of the problems in this case. I think that was problematic for the jury, but we can't cross-examine the guy.
Interestingly, I think if you went and asked the incompetent person, he would tell you he doesn't remember it being Jerry Sandusky, but unfortunately, he's not competent, so we can't bring him to the stand to refute his own hearsay statement brought in by somebody else who never reported it up until now.
COOPER: Karl Rominger, I appreciate you being on, Jerry Sandusky co-counsel. Thank you very much for being with us.
Mark Geragos, defense attorney, you just heard the defense attorney, as well. What do you make of what he said? Do you -- clearly, Jeff Toobin is expressing a fair amount of skepticism about any of these -- these things that he's bringing up actually being effective on an appeal when you're facing -- when you've been convicted of 45 counts.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the -- look, I've been on the -- I've been on the receiving end of judges who don't give you continuances. I'd have to agree with Jeff, that's not going to be -- that's not a winner on appeal.
The one argument that I think they've got that's got some constitutional heft to it is this idea of the guy coming in and giving a hearsay statement. That is something that has been thrashed around in the federal courts, at least, and now trickles down into the state courts, the right of confrontation. That is a -- that's an issue that's got a colorable basis on appeal. That's No. 1.
However, the countervailing -- Jeff didn't say it, and I think he was probably biting his tongue. There aren't a whole lot of court of appeals justices who are going to be running for their pens or computers to write an opinion to reverse a conviction of Jerry Sandusky. I mean, let's be Frank here.
This is -- you know, especially where that is. At this point they've got a -- they've got a guilty verdict. They've got a conviction on 45 counts. Most people are going to want to put this behind them. Unfortunately, that's the -- that's the reality of it. I don't think that you're -- you've got a great chance of getting most cases reversed on appeal to begin with. This case has got a lot less sex appeal, if you will, pun intended, to get it reversed at this point.
Maybe somewhere down the line on a writ of habeas corpus, you get some kind of an evidentiary hearing if there's discovery that they never got to that shows tape-recorded statements of the police coaching these people or getting them to invent their stories. But absent some bombshell like that, it's a very slim chance...
COOPER: Let's listen in to Joe -- let's listen in to Joe Amendola, the defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky.
JOE AMENDOLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR JERRY SANDUSKY: I'll make some general comments, and then, if you have questions, you can ask.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can't hear you on the mike. Can't hear him.
AMENDOLA: Can you hear me now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
AMENDOLA: Well, what do we do about that? Do these things come off? OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk. Just put the mikes down and talk.
AMENDOLA: The Sandusky family is very disappointed, obviously, by the verdict of the jury, but we respect their verdict.
You may recall, for those of you who have been with this case from the beginning, that we said that we had a tidal wave of public opinion against Jerry Sandusky and the charges filed against him. That he had been determined to be guilty by the public and the media from the very outset of the charges, and that we had an uphill battle.
I used the analogy that we were attempting to climb Mount Everest from the bottom of the mount. Well, obviously, we didn't make it.
We always felt -- we always felt that Jerry's fairer shake would come from a Centre County jury, and we still believe that.
The jury obviously believed the commonwealth's evidence, the commonwealth witnesses. That's clear from their verdict.
I've been asked already inside is that a surprise. And no, actually, it was the expected outcome because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against Jerry Sandusky.
You may also recall that we asked for a continuance on a number of occasions on the basis that we needed more time to sift through the thousands of pages of materials to determine what other types of defenses we might have, but due to judicial constrictions, we were forced to proceed to trial at this time.
I think most of you would have agreed with me that, had someone said last November and December we'd have a trial in early June, that you would have agreed that that was not very likely at all. And yet, here we are with a trial now that has concluded, and it's still the latter part of June after three weeks in court.
We have some appeal issues we'll pursue. We feel we have some decent appeal issues.
I do want to say this. The prosecution handled the case in an exemplary manner. They're professionals. They presented their case in a solid fashion. We congratulate them.
The judge in this case was marvelous. Judge Cleland was the ultimate jurist. He was fair; he was firm. He was reasonable with everything we asked for.
The only disagreement, obviously, we had was our request for a continuance, but aside from that, it would be my privilege to serve in front of Judge Cleland in the future in any sort of case, knowing that he would give a defendant and give counsel a fair -- a fair shake at a fair trial. We believe he did an outstanding job.
Again, as with any case, there are issues, which we will take up on appeal.
A number of people have asked me about what happened with Jerry Sandusky not testifying after we spoke about that. Now I can talk about it. We had a gag order in place which prevented us from doing so. But late Thursday afternoon, just before the commonwealth was to close its case, the commonwealth asked the court to allow the commonwealth to keep its case open at least overnight, because it had just come into information that it wanted to investigate.
Later Thursday evening, I received a call from the commonwealth attorneys, at which time they indicated to me Matt Sandusky had gone to them and contacted them late Thursday afternoon, then made a statement to them Thursday evening, indicating that Jerry had abused him years earlier and that they were thinking about introducing Matt Sandusky as a witness at Jerry's trial in this matter.
I objected. The court was involved in that conversation. I indicated that our whole case was predicated with Jerry testifying. And Jerry had always wanted to testify.
However, the next day, the commonwealth attorney advised me it would not call Matt Sandusky in its case in chief, that it would reserve the right to call him as a rebuttal witness, depending on what evidence we presented.
That created a real dilemma for us, because if we call Jerry Sandusky now as a witness, it would almost certainly, and we looked at all the different ways we could avoid it, but it most certainly would have resulted in the commonwealth being permitted to call Matt Sandusky in rebuttal.
So reluctantly, and I say reluctantly, because Jerry still wanted to testify, he denied that he ever had inappropriately had contact with his son, Matt. And in fact, and in fairness to Jerry, the remaining number of his children, as well as his wife, felt the same way and were prepared to testify against Matt if Matt came forward in Jerry's trial in this matter and indicated that Jerry had abused him.
But that being said, we decided as a legal strategy position, that to put Jerry on the stand, to set him up to have Matt come in to this jury and testify against him, would have absolutely destroyed whatever chances he had at acquittal. And so upon our advice as his attorneys, he reluctantly agreed not to testify.
And of course that resulted in Matt Sandusky not testifying, and we felt that that might at least give Jerry an opportunity to be acquitted of some, if not more of the charges involved against him.
So that was the reason Jerry didn't testify in his trial, contrary to my opening remarks that he intended to. I didn't smokescreen you; I didn't mislead you. He fully intended to testify. Whether...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-five out of 48 counts. Does this prove to you that your client is sick?
AMENDOLA: The question is does the fact that 45 out of 48 counts were returned as verdicts of guilty by the jury, does that prove to me that my client is sick? And the answer is no. You know folks, there are lots of people sitting in jails all across this country who are innocent. There have been people, lots of people -- may I finish? Lots of people, lots of people over the years who have been executed for murder and later determined to have been innocent. So what this tells me is this...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think he's innocent?
AMENDOLA: This jury -- folks in the media, can I finish? What this proves to me is I believe the jury acted genuinely. I believe the jury acted in good faith. I believe the jury acted on the evidence that was presented to it. And I don't dispute or have any problem with the jury's verdict. We had -- we had a good jury.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question is why would Matt come forward now?
AMENDOLA: Well, you may recall -- the question is why would Matt come forward now? You have to ask Matt. But...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was there, though, the first day.
AMENDOLA: You may remember, is what I'm going to say is exactly what you just commented. You may remember the first day of trial, Matt was seated with his family and actually, according to family members during the testimony of one of the witnesses, was kind of mocking the witness and indicating that he didn't believe what he witness was saying.
We have no idea what happened. And that's something that Matt and whoever represents him will have to tell you later.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... shocked, surprised by that?
AMENDOLA: Yes. We had anticipated Matt would be one of our witnesses. And we were shocked by it. The family was absolutely shocked by it. His parents, his siblings were distraught by it. But nevertheless, that's what we were facing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did Jerry tell you about that, when he came forward?
AMENDOLA: Jerry said -- Jerry said that Matt has had problems ever since Matt was with them and that these problems had led Matt at times to do things that were irrational. Matt had had problems as a juvenile and that there were explanations for it.
But unfortunately, as I've said to Jerry, that if Matt were to testify, because of the fact that this was a surprise situation, the jury would undoubtedly believe him, regardless of what evidence they had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
AMENDOLA: Jerry -- Jerry indicated he was disappointed by the verdict, but obviously, he has to live with it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he on suicide watch?
AMENDOLA: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was Matt living in the house when the trial started?
AMENDOLA: Matt, I can't say was living in the house, but his parents told me Matt had been staying there temporarily recently. And apparently, there's some issue with his home life where he was staying with his parents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
AMENDOLA: Well, we had the continuance requests, for one. We had the inability of at least one of our experts to appear in court. We have the voluminous amounts of discovery materials that we got as close as two to three weeks before the trial, which we didn't have a chance to review.
I mean, I don't know what you folks thought about the trial, but we were running many days by the seat of our pants just trying to catch up. Maybe it didn't look like that, but that's -- that's the condition we found ourselves in.
We also have some trial issues. We have some evidentiary issues which we'll address at both sentence motions, which can't be filed until after the sentencing.
Is that it, folks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
AMENDOLA: Essentially -- essentially, the sentence that Jerry will receive will be a life sentence, just due to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
COOPER: Listening to Joe Amendola, the defense attorney, lead defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky. Claiming that there are a number of issues which they're going to seek on appeal.
But as we've been discussing with Mark Geragos and Jeff Toobin, not a really huge number of issues that could really alter the fact that Jerry Sandusky was likely to spend the rest of his life, and die, in prison. Four hundred and 42 years, the maximum number of years he could receive for his conviction on 45 counts related to the sexual abuse of children over the course of 15 years.
Here are prosecution lawyers. Let's listen in. Linda Kelly, the Pennsylvania attorney general.
LINDA KELLY, PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good evening, everyone, and thank you all for your patience tonight. I'm Attorney General Linda Kelly, and joining me are members of the prosecution team and investigators on this case, some of whom you probably recognize from their roles in the courtroom and -- can you hear me? OK. All right. And others who you may recognize from their behind-the-scenes work in this case.
We have Joseph P. McGettigan here; Frank Fina and Janelle Eschbach (ph) from the attorney generals, who were the trial team in this case.
Major Brett Wagner from the Pennsylvania State Police. Special Agent Tony Sistano (ph) and regional -- regional director Randy Feathers from our State College office.
These men and woman, along with many other agents, troopers, investigators, attorneys and other staff of the attorney general's office of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Police, have worked tirelessly for the last few years to bring these charges to light, to bring this case to court and to see the day that this defendant, a serial child predator, who committed horrific acts upon his victims, causing life-long and life-changing consequences for all of them, has been held -- has been held accountable for his crimes.
And I'd like to thank each of the individuals that I just mentioned for the very important role that they played in bringing this case to today's verdict.
I also want to offer my most sincere thanks to all the young men, the victims in this case, who came forward to bravely testify during this trial and to finally put a stop to the crimes that have been committed -- committed by this defendant. They've shown great strength and courage during this investigation, candidly and sometimes chillingly telling their stories not only to the jury in a packed courtroom audience here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but also to the entire world.
It was incredibly difficult for some of them to unearth long- buried memories of the shocking abuse they suffered at the hand of this defendant, and most of us cannot possibly fully comprehend what they endured when testifying in that packed courtroom.
This trial was not something that they sought, but rather something that forced them to face the demons of their past and to reveal what happened to them and their childhood when they met Jerry Sandusky.
We hope that our search for justice in this case will help them and other victims who perhaps have been watching from afar, and perhaps nearby, as this case unfolded.
One of the recurring themes of the witnesses; testimony, which came from the voices of the victims themselves in this case was, who would believe a kid? And the answer to that question is, we here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, would believe a kid.
And I think that I speak not only for my own agency but for law enforcement across the country when I say we would believe a kid. And as reflected by this verdict that we've all just heard, a jury of 12 people here in Bellefonte, PA, most definitely would and did believe a kid.
Although we know that the scars that these victims bear can't be erased by the events in a courtroom, we hope that the outcome of this case not only allows these victims to heal and to begin the process of recovering and rebuilding their lives, but that it also encourages other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.
This is a crime that thrives in darkness. It's fed by fear and threats, shame and secrecy, where predators seek -- carefully seek the most vulnerable prey, while often they themselves are cloaked in respectability that sometimes is almost beyond reproach.
Of all the thousands of cases that stream through our judicial system, every once in a while, one will, for a brief moment, capture the attention of the eyes of the world, mesmerizing us until it plays itself out and its stardom begins to fade.
I think that we've all recognized, since the return of the grand jury presentment in this case -- in this matter, that this was one of those uncommon cases, and that the eyes of the world have since then been upon us.
You, the media, have covered the proceedings in this case with exceptional attentiveness and thoroughness. And you've produced much thoughtful commentary and insightful analysis over the course of this trial, resulting, I think, in the raising of the consciousness of your readers and listeners...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
KELLY: Sir, I'll answer that question if you'll wait until the end of this.
Resulting in the raising of consciousness of your readers and listeners and an increased awareness by the public of the monstrous acts that can be committed by sexual predators like the defendant in this case, who live among us, who may appear to be pillars of the community, coaching icons, sports legends and charitable executives extraordinaire, but who calculatingly, and with meticulous planning, mercilessly play -- prey upon the most vulnerable members of our society.
They carefully select their victims: in this case as you know, underprivileged kids, kids from broken homes, foster homes, one-parent families and many of them having other issues like learning, behavioral and emotional problems to deal with, as well. And all of them in their time of need turned to the charity known as the Second Mile, where they knew -- where we now know that Jerry Sandusky trolled for victims.
There are many important lessons that can be learned from this case. One of them is that we can't let the national focus that this case has brought upon child sexual abuse fade after these cameras have turned off and the media has shifted their attention to the next important story. We have to continue to focus on child sexual abuse and to shine a bright light in those dark, dark places where the Jerry Sanduskys of the world lurk, places which definitely exist in our society.
We need to continue to protect our children and to learn from the lessons of this case.
And as for those who fail to respond to reports of child sexual abuse, their behavior is abominable and has tragic consequences for young victims like the ones that you heard from during the last two weeks.
These kids need our help. They need our support. And we as a society must not turn our backs or close our eyes or try to convince ourselves that it doesn't exist when it, in fact, does exist.
This is a law enforcement issue, and every police department and investigative agency across the country should take note of this case and ensure that every claim of child sexual abuse is addressed promptly and investigated thoroughly with the understanding that, where there's one victim, there very likely are more.
This is also an institutional issue. Every institution that comes into contact with children should operate under the premise that it's their legal responsibility to report suspected child abuse.
The legal part of this is easy to grasp. But more importantly, there's a moral and ethical imperative to do so. Concealing or attempting to minimize this type of crime is unacceptable, as well as unconscionable, and should not and cannot be tolerated.
This is also a family issue, and hopefully, parents across the country will learn from this case how important it is to be vigilant about your child's personal interactions with others and to make sure that your child is conscious of their own safety and aware that they may -- must report these types of incidents.
And finally, this is a community issue. Because outside of our roles as prosecutors and police officers and professionals, we all have an interest in keeping our communities and particularly our children, safe and secure and protecting our children, who really are truly our most valuable natural resource. And they should always be our priority.
Every one of us has a responsibility to be aware of the possibility of this type of crime and to speak out if you note something troubling.
I thank all of you for your patience and your dedication in covering this case. Your work -- your work, too, has carried this story and the lessons that go hand in hand with it far beyond the borders of Centre County, and it's helped immeasurably to raise awareness about this kind of issue.
If there are people out there watching right now who have been victims of sexual abuse, as part of any case anywhere, I encourage you to contact authorities in your community and seek the support and assistance that you need.
There are no instant solutions to this problem, but working together, we can hope to make progress. We can help the voices of victims be heard, and we can try and drive away the demons and the darkness and lift the veil of secrecy that allows predators to hide and to operate in our midst.
The commonwealth's interest in a case like this, in this kind of criminal prosecution, is not merely to win the case, but to see that justice shall be done. The twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape nor innocence suffer. Our goal here has always been to bring about a fair and a just result in this case. That goal has been accomplished.
COOPER: Listening to Linda Kelly, the Pennsylvania attorney general, making comments on the courthouse steps.