Sandusky Attorney: Maybe He Was “Teaching Kids How To Shower”

I’m beginning  to have serious doubts about the legal strategy of Jerry Sandusky’s legal team. First, they let him engage in media interviews, including one in which he couldn’t give a straight answer to the question “Are you attracted to young boys?,” then they start issued veiled threats against Sandusky’s accusers and accusing them of being in it for the money, and now there’s this:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Carlisle attorney who has joined Jerry Sandusky’s defense team says the former Penn State assistant football coach may have showered with young boys because the children lacked basic hygiene skills.

Sandusky is accused of molesting ten boys he met through The Second Mile charity he founded for troubled youth.

“Some of these kids don’t have basic hygiene skills,” attorney Karl Rominger said. “Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people who work with troubled youth will tell you there are a lot of juvenile delinquents and people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills like how to put soap on their body.”

Rominger, who spoke with abc27 News Tuesday, added that his college cross country coach often showered with the team.

Now, I usually don’t like to judge another attorneys decisions in a case I’m not involved in, but I really hope that Rominger isn’t thinking of walking into a courtroom and making that argument with a straight face.

Update: Rominger sought to clarify his comments in a later statement:

In a statement issued Thursday by Rominger and Associates, Rominger said the media accounts of his answer have become “somewhat exaggerated.”

“When answering why a person might be in a shower with a youth, I proposed one hypothetical, such as an adult leading by example and encouraging a youth with bad or poor hygiene to shower regularly,” he said in the statement.

“Some commentators have argued that I am saying that Mr. Sandusky showered with youths and touched them inappropriately for the purpose of teaching them how to shower,” Rominger said. “That is not what I said.”

“First, there’s no evidence of inappropriate touching in a shower, except for discredited statements from the grand jury presentment,” he said. “Further, Jerry has maintained his innocence and denies any sexual touching or inappropriate touching in the shower.”

“Therefore, I would like to clarify that I am not suggesting that this is what happened in this case, but was answering questions about possible motivations an individual might have for an adult to shower with a juvenile,” he said.

Translation: Never mind.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    He seems to be mixed up. It’s Sandusky that needs the “mentally coo-coo” defense, not his lawyer.

  2. legion says:

    Wow. I guess he’s going all-in for the ‘incompetent counsel’ appeal before the trial even begins…

  3. mantis says:

    At least they aren’t declaring a writ of “boys will be boys.”

    Too soon?

  4. Translation of the lawyer’s comments: “Crap, I got nothin’. He’s screwed.”

  5. Ernieyeball says:

    Hypothetical: “…I… was answering questions about possible motivations an individual might have for an adult to shower with a juvenile,..”

    Real Life: At least two callers to The Jim Rome Sports Radio Show today stated they had worked with youth who did need to be instructed in matters of personal hygiene.
    “We did it with our clothes on and not in the shower.” was one callers remark.
    “To get in the shower with our clients would have been against protocol.” stated another.

  6. Ben Wolf says:

    @Doug Mataconis

    I don’t suppose you have background as a trial attorney? It sounds like Sandusky is very much in need of a lawyer who isn’t an incompetent fool.

  7. de stijl says:

    Damn it! … He’s using the Chewbacca defense!

  8. michael reynolds says:

    “Therefore, I would like to clarify that I am not suggesting that this is what happened in this case, but was answering questions about possible motivations an individual might have for an adult to shower with a juvenile,” he said.

    Finally! A completely convincing explanation. I’m so relieved to have this cleared up.

  9. The weird thing is that I’d read in a number of different sources that Amendola was generally considered THE big defense lawyer for sort of case in northeastern US. I’m now wondering how he managed to get that reputation, because he seems terrible.

  10. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Well, I suppose the lawyer’s hypothetical is better than the standard from the Bronx of my youth in which the alleged perpetrator tells the judge that he “was just standing on the corner cleaning my knife when this guy runs up and jumps on it 27 times.”