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Why did Jerry Sandusky waive his right to hearing on sex abuse charges?

Jerry Sandusky was scheduled to face his accusers for the first time Tuesday at a preliminary hearing. Instead he waived his right to the hearing, raising questions about the defense team's tactics.

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They also say that they will make Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary the key component of their case were it to go to trial. Mr. McQueary told a grand jury he witnessed Sandusky raping what looked to be a 10-year-old boy in 2002. The defense says McQueary is vulnerable because of inconsistencies in recent statements he made when compared with his original testimony.

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The claim by Sandusky lead attorney Joe Amendola that the victims will be “aggressively investigated” to see if there is collusion is seen by some legal experts as a possible move to dissuade prosecutors to go to trial.

“We’re attacking these cases one at a time.… What better motivation can there be than money?” Mr. Amendola said outside the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday. Amendola said also “there will be no plea deal” and characterized his team as engaged in “a fight to the death.”

Amendola is allowing Sandusky to talk to the media. Two interviews so far, one with Bob Costas and a second with a New York Times reporter, emboldened lawyers for victims because they say they show Sandusky as strangely aloof from the realities of the serious charges against him. In the interviews, for example, he freely admitted to showering with children and sleeping alone with them in hotel rooms. Also, he was hesitant in answering Mr. Costas when asked if he was a pedophile or, later, if he was sexually attracted to young boys.

“There are very, very few lawyers who aren’t scratching their heads and wondering why this is happening,” Pollis says of the decision to allow the Sandusky interviews to take place. “The cardinal rule of criminal defense is not to let the client talk.”

However, Mr. Stoltmann says that despite Sandusky’s poor performance, the interviews did allow him to deny the charges, which will help sway potential jurors. Also, the less media savvy he is, the less likely he will be perceived as a cunning predator.

“What is crucial is he gave a vehement denial should this case make it to trial. There’s not any question about that,” he says. Stoltmann also said the defense will hone their strategy on the extensive time that lapsed between when the abuse allegedly took place and when the accusers came forward, to suggest the victims have ulterior motives.

“[The victims] will be put through the ringer,” he says.

Sandusky’s next court date is Jan. 11, when he is scheduled for arraignment.

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