Authorities Step Up Action in Penn State Abuse Case

Sen. Bob Casey calls for urgent hearings on U.S. laws governing child sex abuse.

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STATE COLLEGE (Reuters) - The lawyer for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky said on Tuesday one of his alleged child rape victims will tell "a very different story" from grand jury testimony.

Joe Amendola said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that he thinks he has located the man, now in his mid-20s, who was allegedly raped by Sandusky in 2002 as a young boy.

"We believe we've found him and if we have found him, he is telling a very different story than Mike McQueary. ... He is saying it never happened," Amendola said.

According to his recent grand jury testimony, McQueary, then a graduate assistant on the football team, told team officials but not police in 2002 that he witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the team showers.

[Marshall: McQueary Guilty of Not Protecting Children]

Sandusky was charged on November 5 with 40 counts of sex crimes involving eight boys over more than a decade. He has denied all the charges.

Amendola's comments were made in one of a string of interviews in the past day, in addition to Sandusky's first public comments Monday night - a move that surprised legal experts and even Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

"I'm very surprised that he was on television," Corbett, who was state attorney general during much of the investigation into Sandusky, said at an event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The governor said he did not watch the interview.

Also on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania called for urgent hearings on U.S. laws governing child sex abuse. "It is clear we need to examine the federal laws that are designed to protect children from this type of heinous abuse," Casey said in a statement.

Separately, the Department of Justice said it would assist the state's criminal case and a separate Education Department probe into possible violations of the Clery Act, the federal law that requires colleges to report campus-related crimes.

Since the scandal broke, Penn State's revered football coach, Joe Paterno, and the university president have been fired by the university's board of trustees. The head of The Second Mile, the children's charity formed by Sandusky and where he met all of his alleged victims, has also resigned.

[Milligan: Penn State as Guilty as Catholic Church in Covering Up Sex Abuse]

EXPERTS SURPRISED

On Monday night, Sandusky professed his innocence in a telephone interview on NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" television program.

"I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their leg. Without intent of sexual contact. But - so if you look at it that way - there are things that wouldn't - you know, would be accurate," said Sandusky, 67.

Asked if he is a pedophile, Sandusky said "No."

When asked if he was sexually attracted to underage boys, Sandusky seemed to hesitate. He repeated the question before replying: "Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

Sandusky also talked about the 2002 incident described by McQueary, now an assistant coach with Penn State.

"We were showering and horsing around ... we were, as I recall, possibly, like, snapping a towel, horseplay."

Legal experts also were surprised Amendola would allow Sandusky to make public comments.

Ronald Allen, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, was staggered that Amendola agreed to let his client speak to the media, saying any comments "can be used to impeach" a defendant in court.

"Nothing good can come from a prospective defendant giving a public interview. From the legal point of view it's really ill-advised," Allen said.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell also questioned the move. "It seems like he's telling a story that's not connected to reality," said Rendell, who was once a district attorney.

Sandusky's interview riveted residents around the Penn State campus.

Early on Tuesday morning, as Sandusky's interview was being rebroadcast, students at the Bar Bleu in downtown State College sat motionless. There were groans when the former defensive coach said he enjoys being around children. Some viewers swore at the screen.