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Attorney for Sandusky says evidence will prove his client's innocence

By Antoinette Campbell, CNN
updated 8:00 PM EST, Tue November 22, 2011
Jerry Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse but continues to maintain his innocence.
Jerry Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse but continues to maintain his innocence.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: County judges recuse themselves to avoid "any appearance of conflict of interest"
  • Sandusky attorney says coach admits showering with boys but maintains innocence
  • Former Penn State coach faces 40 counts of child sex assault
  • Preliminary hearing is set for December 13

(CNN) -- The attorney for Jerry Sandusky said Tuesday that the former Penn State coach is "destroyed" over allegations of sexual abuse against him and that he has "hard evidence" that will "totally dispute" grand jury testimony on Sandusky allegedly having sex with a young boy in a shower.

Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, which allegedly happened over several years and involved eight victims. The complaints include incidents of inappropriate touching and more serious claims of sexual assault.

Sandusky is free on $100,000 bail, and he has denied the allegations of sexual abuse.

The retired defensive coordinator has admitted that he showered with children and now realizes that the admission probably wasn't a good idea, his lawyer said. But Joe Amendola said he believes in his client's innocence.

"People have taken the shower incident and basically moved to, 'He did other stuff, too,' " Amendola said.

Regarding the allegations, "we have answers for each of those," Amendola said. He added that of the eight cases against Sandusky, the two victims tied to the most serious allegations are unknown.

Prosecutors "have no victims. They have other people that are saying they saw something happen, but they don't actually have people saying, 'This is what Jerry did to me,' " Amendola said.

According to grand jury documents, a graduate assistant told Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno in 2002 that he had seen Sandusky performing anal sex on a young boy in a football complex shower. Paterno told Athletic Director Tim Curley, who told Gary Schultz, a university vice president, according to the grand jury report. Some information about the allegations eventually reached President Graham Spanier, according to the report.

Paterno has said he did "what I was supposed to do." But in a later statement, he said "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Soon after the grand jury report, trustees fired Paterno -- the winningest football coach in Division I history -- and Spanier.

Amendola said Sandusky was "devastated by what's happened to Paterno."

Curley and Schultz stepped aside within a day of the charges.

"Three people against one, and yet the one is believed, and it forms the basis for perjury against two other administrators," Amendola said.

"Maybe the wrong person was charged with perjury," Amendola said.

Curley and Schultz will be back in court December 6. On Tuesday, their legal team sent a letter to the Pennsylvania attorney general's office to request discovery -- the legal procedure in which both sides in a case are made aware of the other side's evidence -- in advance of that hearing. Normally, the defense receives discovery at the hearing, but attorneys for Curley and Schultz feel information is being leaked.

Sandusky continues to maintain his innocence, but there are reports that more victims are coming forward.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota, who specializes in sexual abuse cases, said recently that more than 10 people have contacted him alleging abuse by Sandusky.

Anderson, who represents one of the alleged victims, said Sandusky used his position of trust and power and his caring ways as a coach and mentor to groom families and children.

"In all instances, each of these young people, some older now than others, suffered in secrecy and silence and shame," Anderson said.

Amendola told ABC News that if prosecutors bring new charges against Sandusky based on any additional accusers, he feels Sandusky's bail could be revoked and he could be jailed.

On Monday, former FBI Director Louis Freeh was hired by Penn State to lead an independent inquiry into the school's response to child sexual abuse allegations. Although he does not have the subpoena power he enjoyed as an FBI official, Freeh said he is counting on the cooperation of law enforcement and the Penn State community, which is eager to restore the university's reputation.

The NCAA and the U.S. Department of Education are also investigating the university's response.

Sandusky's former charity, the Second Mile, is also conducting its own investigation into allegations that the program was where Sandusky encountered at least one of his victims.

"Everyone has rushed to judgment," Amendola said.

"He's destroyed," he said of Sandusky. "People are throwing bricks through his windows at home."

A preliminary hearing for Sandusky is scheduled for December 13 in Centre County, site of Penn State University.

The administrative office of Pennsylvania courts announced Tuesday that all Centre County common pleas court judges have recused themselves from the Sandusky case. "The judges' recusals are intended to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest due to real or perceived connections to the defendant, the Second Mile charity, or the Pennsylvania State University," said a statement from the courts' office.

A judge from Pennsylvania's McKean County has been appointed to the case, the statement said.

CNN's Jason Carroll, Laura Dolan and Sheila Steffen contributed to this story.

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