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Lawyer: Sandusky TV Appearance A Bad Idea
Lansdale lawyer John Filice says letting former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky use a national television broadcast, to deny charges of child sex abuse, was a really bad idea on the part of the defense. He says the most telling moment, and the most potentially incriminating, came when NBC’s Bob Costas asked him directly if he’s sexually attracted to young boys.
“It took him a good long time to really answer it. He repeated the question to buy himself time to answer it, and the fact of the matter is that from his attorney’s perspective it was a really bad idea on a lot of counts, but most importantly the whole thing looks like it was just thrown together at the last minute. It wasn’t well prepared, he obviously was not advised how to answer these types of questions, or rehearsed enough if you were going to have this kind of interview, because when he was asked point blank he really came off about as creepy as you could.”
If the fact that he took a long pause and repeated the question gets in front of a jury, Filice says it will not play well. Montgomery County Commissioner and former District Attorney Bruce Castor says the law has a name for that.
“That would be what’s called a tacit admission, and there’s a whole body of law that permits negative inferences to be drawn for people who should have said, ‘Absolutely not,’ and did not. The law expects somebody accused of something heinous who’s innocent to say, ‘Absolutely not,’ and then go into an explanation, not the other way around.”
Castor says everything Sandusky said in the interview can be used against him in court, and if the idea was to make him look better in the eyes of potential jurors, it’s not working. Castor was on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest Wednesday, and Filice was on Legally Speaking.