Attorneys representing Sandusky were criticized in the early weeks of his arrest for exposing their client to two media interviews, one for NBC and the other for the New York Times, both of which became immediate missteps: Sandusky denying the accusations but appearing unaware of the traditional boundaries between adults and children.
"If I say, 'no, I'm not attracted to young boys,' that's not the truth, because I'm attracted to young people – boys, girls … I enjoy spending time with young people,” he told the Times in December.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a surprise he never made it to the witness stand. Instead, lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola ushered in surrogates who vouched for Sandusky’s good character, the most powerful being Dottie Sandusky, his wife of 45 years. The grandmotherly Mrs.Sandusky countered the accounts of narratives, laid out by the alleged victims, that her husband molested them in the basement of their home, a hotel bathroom, and the locker room showers of the Penn State athletics department.
In a calm, but firm, delivery, she described most of the accusers as the needy ones in the relationship with her husband. She said one prosecution witness was “very demanding” and even “conniving.” Another “was a charmer.” “He knew what to say and when to say it,” she said.
This version of events fit into a defense strategy throughout the trial that suggested some of the victims' families elaborated their stories with hopes of earning a payday in subsequent civil litigation.
Andrew Pollis, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, says the defense had no choice but to attack the credibility of the accusers, since it obviously felt that putting Sandusky on the witness stand wasn’t an option.