I generally do not like to comment about high profile cases, but I was floored when I heard Brian Williams, NBC's "Nightly News" anchor promote that he would, on his Monday night show "Rock Center" be interviewing alleged child rapist, Jerry Sandusky. By now everyone knows the alleged facts surrounding this horrific situation. The crime has shaken not only Penn State University, but has captured the attention of the nation. It caused legendary football coach Joe Paterno to be fired.
What occurred on the the Rock Center last night goes against everything you learn about criminal defense in law school. It is criminal defense 101. I do not understand why a lawyer that is representing someone that is charged with raping several children would allow his client to be interviewed. Even Bob Costas, who interviewed Sandusky understood it was not a smart thing to do. Nevertheless, his lawyer allowed it to happen and it is going to backfire if and when a sexual assault trial takes place. Nothing is gained by talking to the media in such a situation. A person that is charged with raping a young boy can not explain it away during a phone interview on television. It is the lawyer's job to explain this to them in no uncertain terms. I would probably get it in writing that my client is doing the interview despite my recomendation against talking to anyone about the allegations. Not suprisingly, Sandusky is being vilified even more after his comment that he enjoyed young people and loved being around them. Perhaps, that was well meaning, but it did not come across that way. He is going to be hammered with that comment if he ever testifies in a court of law. A sexual assault or rape case is hard enough to defend without your client making such damaging comments.