With each passing day, this Jerry Sandusky rabbit hole continues to get deeper and darker. And a whole helluva lot more disturbing.
In an interview with WHTM-TV, attorney Karl Rominger, the newest member of the former Penn State defensive coordinator’s defense team, offered up an interesting — and creepy — explanation as to why Sandusky showered alone with boys as young as 10 years old he had met through his Second Mile charity.
“Some of these kids don’t have basic hygiene skills,” Rominger told the television station, presumably with a straight face throughout. “Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people who work with troubled youth will tell you there are a lot of juvenile delinquents and people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills like how to put soap on their body.”
(In the interest of fairness, we’re going to assume Mr. Rominger is a real attorney with a degree and everything and not a well-executed plant from The Onion.)
In an apparent effort to bolster this latest defense tactic, Rominger noted during the interview that his college cross-country coach often showered with the team. Of course, Rominger was neither 10 years old nor alone when these showers took place, so it’s unclear what his college experience has to do with his client’s situation.
Sandusky has admitted in previous interviews that he showered with boys and engaged in horse-play with them while showering, although he did concede that he “shouldn’t have showered with those kids.” In the original 40-count indictment against Sandusky, a witness alleged to have seen the retired assistant sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the shower of Penn State’s football building in 2002.
His answer to — or more specifically, the hesitation in answering — the question posed during his interview with Bob Costas of whether he was sexually attracted to young boys was the final nail in the coffin of public opinion.
Rominger seems to think Sandusky’s lack of eloquence, rather than his alleged actions, is working against his client.
“The problem is if you’re an innocent person who’s not articulate, you’re not going to come across well, but you’re still innocent,” Rominger said. “A guilty person who is very articulate might come across innocent. So it’s not a fair fight.”
Earlier this week, Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing in which he likely would’ve faced at least some of his 10 alleged victims.
UPDATED 5:57 p.m. ET: If backpedaling were an Olympic event, Rominger would be the prohibitive gold-medal favorite at the 2012 London games. The following is comes from the Associated Press.
“Rominger said in a statement Thursday that he only was giving a hypothetical example of why a person might shower with an adolescent. He noted he never said Sandusky touched boys in a shower.”
I’m no lawyer, and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but my legal advice to the lawyer would be to shut the hell up on all fronts. His mileage may vary, however.