Pennsylvania has a “loop-hole” for child molesters to commit the perfect crime: Emancipate your victim!
In 1996, Joe Amendola, 49, attorney for accused child molester Jerry Sandusky, emancipated his 16-year-old client and subsequently impregnated her at the age of 17 as reported by www.nydailynews.com and the Huffington Post on November 15, 2011.
The Pennsylvania “Age of Consent” to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same age or older is 16. The Pennsylvania “Age Gap Provision”- confirmed with the Pennsylvania State Patrol – strictly prohibits anyone over the age of 18 from participating in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18, unless they are emancipated.
The Emancipation of Minors, as defined by the North Western Legal Services website states “Most people think someone less than 18 can just go to court and get emancipated. But in Pennsylvania, emancipation is not a right, and there are no clear procedures to get a declaration of emancipation from a court. However, rarely is such a declaration necessary for a minor to achieve his or her goal.”
Joe Amendola has no public record with The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania regarding his inappropriate conduct with his client. Joe Amendola escaped prosecution for his arguably unethical conduct and you can be sure those protecting him are attempting to protect Sandusky.
Amendola is quoted in the Sandusky trial stating the following, “It is certainly a crime for a man to have oral sex with a boy,” Amendola said, but “other forms of physical contact are more problematic,” and “it’s not necessarily a crime for a man to take a shower with a boy. It’s not necessarily a crime for a man to wash a boy’s hair or lather his back or shoulders or to engage in back rubbing.”
M. Alex Johnson and Kimberly Kaplan, NBC News reported, Amedola pleaded to the jury that the bottom line was Sandusky’s intent, “not the child’s reaction” and if Sandusky “did not act out of sexual desire, then he did not commit a crime, even if he did exercise bad judgment.” Amendola completely disregarded United States Supreme Court rulings applying to “harassment” and “stalking,” dictating the victim’s reaction is the substance of the offense. What message is the Judicial System sending here? The VICTIM’S VOICE means nothing?
Who is protecting Sandusky? The prosecution has failed to call to testify the first victim to come forward, Travis Weaver, who is quoted saying he would gladly “Punch [Sandusky] in the mouth” (source www.msnbc.com), and the prosecution also failed to call to testify Jerry Sanduskys’ adopted son, Matt Sandusky, who released a statement through his lawyer, Andrew Shubin, that Jerry Sandusky sexually abused him (source Mike Krumboltz, The Lookout).
Who is protecting Joe Amendola and Jerry Sandusky? Let us all hope that the jury will NOT protect those in our community who choose to hurt our children! What is occurring in this trial seems all-to-short of justice! Amendola escaped responsibility for his bad manners. Let us not allow the same for Sandusky. Emancipation is NOT the answer.