HOLLIDAYSBURG - Joe Amendola, the Centre County attorney who represented Jerry Sandusky during his child sexual abuse trial, said Tuesday he thinks his client should remain in isolation, away from other prisoners, for his own well-being.
Sandusky is awaiting sentencing at the Centre County Correctional Facility, and according to reports, he is being kept in an isolation cell.
Senior Judge John Cleland ordered a presentence investigation and a Megan's Law review by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board. He said sentencing would probably occur within 90 days.
In a statement released Monday, attorney Karl Rominger, who assisted Amendola during the two-week trial, stated that Sandusky, from his jail cell, still maintains his innocence.
Amendola, who was in the Blair County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon, said he will soon be visiting Sandusky, but he noted that no appeals will be filed until after Cleland imposes his sentence. Amendola will then have 10 days to notify the court of an impending appeal.
On Friday evening, after the Centre County jury of seven women and five men announced the verdict, Amendola said that Sandusky has maintained his innocence from the first time it became apparent that an accuser had reported abuse. That was more than three years ago.
He said the defense had a mountain of evidence to overcome. Amendola repeated Tuesday that he thought the defense did the best it could under the circumstances in representing the 68-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach.
The defense team complained throughout the pretrial stage of the case that it was not given enough time to prepare its case.
Amendola said the scene outside the Centre County Courthouse following the announcement of the verdicts by the jury - finding Sandusky guilty on 45 of the 48 charges - was "bizarre, surreal."
He said it was like something out of a movie. People, he said were dressed in costumes. Signs were being waved, including one that said "Tax the Amish," an issue that had nothing to do with the case.
The crowd at times cheered but went silent as Amendola began to speak. The cheers turned to jeers when he concluded that there have been many innocent people in jail, and he noted that even some people on death row have been found to be innocent.
One man yelled, "He isn't innocent, Joe."
In days, Amendola has gone from serving as the lead defense attorney in one of the most infamous cases in the nation to a lawyer who came to Blair County for a preliminary conference for a man accused of driving under the influence.
He appeared in the courtroom of Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron.
It was rumored last week Amendola would be on his way to Tahiti this week to rest after the trial, but he said Tuesday he had to put his private law practice on hold to prepare for the Sandusky case.
He said he worked 18 hours a day for months on Sandusky, which meant his other cases began to pile up.
Amendola quipped as he left the Blair County Courthouse, that the Sandusky trial "was a once-in-a-lifetime experience - with the emphasis on once."
He said he was happy to get back to a more normal practice of law.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.