What doesn't add up, he said, are the numbers. Sandusky is 68 years old. The alleged abuse of the 10 victims began in 1994, when Sandusky was in his 50s.
Isn't it weird, he asked, that Sandusky would wait until middle age to offend? If he were really a pedophile, wouldn't long-ago victims have come out of the woodwork by now, given the global publicity this case has generated?
Besides, he said, there is no physical evidence that abuse occurred. And two victims — unidentified boys whom others have said they saw being harmed — have never even been located or identified by authorities.
As for Sandusky's eight other alleged victims, some knew each other from Second Mile, the boys' charity that Sandusky founded. The connection, Amendola alleged, allowed them to cook up wild stories of abuse, aided in part by zealous state troopers who asked leading questions to lard the tales.
The boys and their families were interested not in justice but in fat lawsuit settlements, Amendola said. That's why so many of them had lawyered up.
It was a spectacular closing argument, lemme tell you — confident, convincing and brimming with enough almost-credible innuendo that it I actually forgot, for a few minutes, the despicable particulars of Sandusky's kiddie obsession.
If you ever commit a really big crime, call Amendola.
Just pray, though, that Joe McGettigan doesn't run the prosecution. Because his closing argument in the Sandusky trial yanked me back to my senses.
Obviously, it's no mystery where my opinion lies in this case.
McGettigan, a former prosecutor in the Philly District Attorney's Office, reminded the jury that, at the outset of this mess, Amendola himself admitted that the commonwealth had "overwhelming evidence against" Sandusky.
When that's the case, McGettigan said, the defense will do five things, which Sandusky's team did with skill throughout the trial: admit what you must, deny what you can, call everyone a liar, make countercharges and allege conspiracy.
"Well, put me in handcuffs," he said, offering that the conspiracy Amendola alleged would have to have extended far beyond the accusers for Sandusky to have been charged. The victims, their families, the grand jurists, the state police, the Penn State staffers who allegedly saw Sandusky violating boys, even McGettigan and co-counsel Frank Fina — all would have to agree to dance in unison.
But to what end? What would be the motive for grand jurors to conspire? Prosecutors? Police? Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, who reported a Sandusky shower assault to late Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno?
That's one vast conspiracy.
This case has been a heartbreak, from the indictment last November to Thursday evening's stunning, last-minute allegation from Sandusky's son, Matt, that he had been abused by his father.
Hanging over it has been the knowledge that children who are needy — for love, for attention, for a family, for connection — are simple prey for those who'd exploit their vulnerability for personal gratification.
If there are convictions for Sandusky, the victims will be gratified, as any victim would be once he has officially been believed.
But their ordeal won't be over. Healing doesn't happen with a verdict. But it can begin.
Last November, as Amendola said, Sandusky's world exploded. But if he did the terrible acts of which he's been accused, the explosions actually occurred long ago. And his alleged victims have been damaged by the raining debris ever since.
Finally, Sandusky may feel it, too.
Contact polaner@firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 215-854-2217. Blog: phillynews.com/ronnieblog. Twitter: @RonniePhilly. We invite you to comment on this story by clicking here. Comments will be moderated.