More charges for Jerry Sandusky?

Updated: November 22, 2011, 7:09 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The lawyer for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky told ABC News that he anticipates more charges to be filed against his client, who is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period.

In an exclusive interview with the network on Tuesday, Joe Amendola said that if prosecutors bring new charges based on any additional accusers, he fears Sandusky's bail could be revoked and he could be jailed.

"My concern is if they bring new charges based upon new people coming forth, that bail's going to be set, and he's going to wind up in jail," Amendola said.

However, Amendola said Sandusky could not have committed the most serious of the charges -- repeated sexual contact at his home -- because he was never alone with the boys in his home.

" ... This was a house. And the house was filled with people," Amendola told ABC News. "And Jerry, by the way, had six adopted kids and three foster kids."

Sandusky has maintained he is innocent. He is free on $100,000 unsecured bail, which would be paid only if he fails to show up for court.

But it's possible that if the ex-coach faces additional charges, he could find himself with such a high bail he would not be able to pay it, criminal defense lawyers said Tuesday.

Prosecutors "don't have to start all over," said Lemoyne defense attorney Bill Costopoulos. "The additional counts would result in another arrest, another bail piece, another preliminary hearing date being set."

Sandusky's preliminary hearing was rescheduled Tuesday for Dec. 13 in Bellefonte, Pa. At the hearing, prosecutors will try to show that they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

A posting on a court website says the new schedule is meant to accommodate "logistical needs."

The district judge who set bail when Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5, Leslie Dutchcot of State College, was replaced with a senior district judge from western Pennsylvania after Dutchcot's ties to Sandusky's charity surfaced. The court order said the change was designed to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

The new judge, Robert E. Scott, would be making decisions about bail in the context of public outrage over the allegations, which include charges that Sandusky found victims among boys being helped by The Second Mile charity.

All the judges in Penn State's home county removed themselves from potentially presiding over the case and will be replaced by outside jurists, the Pennsylvania court system announced.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said in a news release that the four Centre County Common Pleas Court judges bowed out "to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest due to real or perceived connections" to Sandusky, the university or the charity for at-risk children Sandusky founded.

John M. Cleland, a senior judge from McKean County, was appointed to take over the case, although another judge, Kathy A. Morrow, was named to handle matters until he can assume jurisdiction.

The court system said neither Cleland nor Morrow, who sits in Perry and Juniata counties, have any known connections to the defendant, the university or the charity.

On Tuesday, Morrow signed an order barring those involved in the Sandusky case from disclosing the name of an individual described by his lawyers as a victim of, and witness to, child sexual abuse.

Morrow signed the order at the request of two State College attorneys that instructs court officials and the parties to refer to him as "John Doe." The order directs the Centre County clerk's office to seal any portion of the record that refers to him by name.

The motion seeking the order is sealed. Messages left for the lawyers weren't immediately returned.

Until the preliminary hearing for Sandusky, which was pushed back by a week on Tuesday to Dec. 13, prosecutors can seek to have bail modified by the district judge, said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin. After that hearing, bail changes would have to be pursued by a county court petition, he said.

Martin said criminal complaints can also be amended prior to a preliminary hearing, but afterward the defendant would have to be re-arrested, and then the prosecution and defense would argue over whether to consolidate the two sets of charges for trial.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office did not return messages seeking comment.

The investigation into Sandusky was launched in March 2009 by Gov. Tom Corbett, who was Pennsylvania's attorney general at the time. Corbett has come under heavy criticism for not having Sandusky arrested and removed from Penn State's campus before this month.

"If you believe that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile, then you had to believe there was a substantial risk," Amendola told ABC News. "That while you were continuing a three-year grand jury investigation which could've resulted in an arrest with the first boy coming forward three years ago."

A key question throughout the scandal has been why fired coach Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials did not go to police in 2002 after being told by Mike McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time, that he had seen Sandusky assaulting a boy in a school shower inside the football complex.

The hearing for Gary Schultz and Tim Curley remains scheduled for Dec. 6 in the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. The two Penn State administrators are accused of failing to properly report suspected abuse and perjury before a grand jury. Both men have maintained they are innocent of the charges.

On Tuesday, Thomas J. Farrell, Schultz's attorney, told The Daily Collegian, Penn State's independent student newspaper, that Schultz "was not told that a 10-year-old boy was raped in the shower."

Farrell also said Curley and Paterno also did not know, and that if any of three men had been told, they would have gone to police.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.