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Sandusky's lawyer says media took showering comments 'out of context'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:11 AM EST, Fri December 16, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Penn State says it won't meet a Friday deadline to answer NCAA questions
  • Sandusky's lawer said adults may teach "basic life skills, like how to put soap on your body"
  • He claims this was a "hypothetical" that some media outlets "somewhat exaggerated"
  • Sandusky didn't shower with boys under the guise of teaching them how, the lawyer says

(CNN) -- An attorney for a former Penn State football coach accused of sexually abusing young boys on Thursday claimed news media "somewhat exaggerated" and took "out of context" his comments about adults who "teach" children to shower.

Karl Rominger recently joined the defense team of Jerry Sandusky, who prosecutors say sexually abused 10 young boys over a 14-year period. The 67-year-old former defensive coordinator has pleaded not guilty to more than 50 related charges.

University officials due in court Friday

Sandusky has admitted showering and having "horsed around" with boys, though he's denied any sexual activity with his accusers.

On Tuesday, Rominger brought up the idea of an adult showering with young children during an interview with CNN affiliate WHTM.

Sandusky attorney on Costas interview
Sandusky lawyer: No plea discussion

"Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 would sound strange to some people, but actually people who work with troubled youth would tell you that there are a lot of juvenile delinquents or people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills, like how to put soap on your body," the lawyer said.

In a statement released Thursday, Rominger said he was proposing "one hypothetical" and not saying "Sandusky showered with youths and touched them inappropriately for the purpose of teaching them to shower."

"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," Rominger said.

Also Thursday, Penn State issued a statement indicating it needs more time to respond to an NCAA inquiry -- one of several such probes launched in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. They include efforts by the U.S. Department of Education and university trustees, as well as the criminal investigation.

"It became evident that the questions being asked (by the NCAA) might be answered in the course of the investigations currently in progress," Penn State General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin says in a statement issued Thursday by the university.

The statement runs contrary to one issued by the school Wednesday, when Penn State said its officials would meet the Friday deadline.

CNN's Ross Levitt and Eden Pontz contributed to this report.

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