Former Pennsylvania State University football coach Jerry Sandusky is drawing on funds from an organization he set up for at-risk children to pay his defense fees.
In 2011 Sandusky was charged with over 40 counts of sexual abusing young boys over a 15-year period. A graphic grand jury report released in November detailed the allegations against Sandusky — which include the rape of young boys in Penn State’s football locker room.
Sandusky’s legal defense has already cost him $200,000 and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, told USA Today that limited funds have hampered efforts to find damaging information about his eight known accusers.
Without probes that could undermine the character of his accusers, Sandusky’s defense could be lacking “really important” information, said former federal prosecutor Aitan Goelman.
“For a criminal defendant, you want to be able to call (witnesses’) credibility into question,” he added.
Sandusky created The Second Mile in 1977 ostensibly to help at-risk children and their parents. He allegedly used the organization to facilitate contact with young boys he intended to molest. Sandusky is now relying on an insurance policy from that organization to help pay his legal fees.
The insurance company, Federal Insurance, Co, is not on board. It has gone to federal court saying the company is not inclined to pay defense costs, especially because of the coach’s “reprehensible acts.”
The insurance company is waiting for the resolution of that lawsuit, and has already paid about $125,000 in Sandusky’s defense expenses.
The defense budget is used to pay for Sandusky’s legal team consisting of Amendola, attorney Karl Rominger and two part-time investigators.
Along with taking from the organization, Sandusky has also cashed out his retirement account.