STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky's lawyer told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the former Penn State football defensive coordinator faces two new claims of child sexual abuse, but that both are unfounded.
Joseph Amendola said one claim stemmed from a Sandusky family dispute, and he characterized the other as an example of people trying to mimic other allegations and "jump on the bandwagon."
"That doesn't surprise me because we believe there would be a number of copycat allegations, people who really maybe not even had direct contact with Jerry but ... try to jump on the bandwagon," Amendola said.
He said the accusations, should they result in charges, would be vigorously contended.
Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. He has said he showered with some boys but never sexually abused them.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg has reported that the pair of new claims were brought within the last two months.
"We'll defend those if and when they become charges," Amendola said. "We'll defend those just like we're defending the other charges."
Lawyers for the other two people arrested earlier this month as a result of the same grand jury investigation are asking prosecutors to turn over material to help them prepare for a preliminary hearing next month.
Attorneys for athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz wrote to state prosecutors Tuesday asking for grand jury testimony and other information related to their cases. They both faces charges of perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse.
The request appears to be a long shot, since such disclosures aren't required so early in a case's trajectory. But the letter also hints at a likely defense strategy: questioning the testimony of a graduate assistant who said he reported seeing Sandusky rape a child in 2002.
Among other things, they asked for corroboration of statements by assistant coach Mike McQueary that he told Schultz and Curley he witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the football team showers nine years ago. They said such corroboration is needed to meet the relatively low legal standard required for the perjury charge to advance from the preliminary hearing to county court for a full trial.
"The presentment states no such corroboration," wrote Caroline Roberto, who represents Curley, and Thomas J. Farrell, Schultz's lawyer. "Please provide any in advance of the hearing or specify there is none, thereby saving the court and us considerable time and inconvenience."
Roberto and Farrell acknowledged that Pennsylvania's criminal procedure rules don't require the disclosure they are seeking, but told state prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach she had the discretion to provide it. A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the letter Wednesday.
The lawyers have previously said their clients are innocent of the charges and vowed a vigorous defense.
The letter suggests a key element of that defense is likely to be a challenge to the testimony of McQueary, who a grand jury report said told the administrators during a meeting "that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy."
Schultz and Curley both said that McQueary was not that specific when he told them what he saw, according to the grand jury. The panel concluded that portions of the testimony by Schultz and Curley were not credible but that McQueary's testimony was "extremely credible."
Roberto and Farrell said in the three-page letter that they want an email from McQueary to Penn State players saying he stopped the alleged 2002 sexual attack on a child by Sandusky, and a statement that he notified police.
McQueary, now on administrative leave, wrote in an email to friends that he had "discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police" about what he saw.
He did not specify whether he spoke to campus or State College police. State College borough police Chief Tom King has said McQueary did not report to his department, and campus police have said they were unable to find a record of a report filed in 2002 by McQueary.
The lawyers asked for any criminal record and deals that prosecutors may have made regarding McQueary as well as information about any contacts between McQueary and Sandusky after the alleged attack.
"Apparently, Mr. McQueary golfed and socialized with Mr. Sandusky after March 1, 2002, conduct that is inconsistent with Mr. McQueary's testimony: Most people do not socialize with individuals they believe to be child-rapists," the lawyers wrote.
They said the state should provide any interviews with the person called "victim 2" in the grand jury report issued Nov. 5, the day charges were filed against Schultz, Curley and Sandusky.
They also sought copies of grand jury testimony by their clients, McQueary and football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired as head football coach in the wake of the scandal. And they said state investigators may have leaked grand jury details, asking the attorney general's office to "halt and investigate these abuses" and report them to the proper disciplinary authorities.
Copied in on the letter was William Wenner, the district judge in the Harrisburg suburbs who is set to preside over next month's hearing.
The scandal also resulted in the ousting of university President Graham Spanier and has brought shame to one of college football's legendary programs. Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down.