Karl Rominger handled a defense case in the state-wide Bonusgate scandal. He has handled death penalty cases. And now, he will help to defend Jerry Sandusky.
Rominger, a criminal defense attorney out of Harrisburg, just came aboard Sandusky’s defense team to help split the workload with State College lawyer Joe Amendola. That workload, he said, is comparable to having “a hundred clients.”
After being introduced to Amendola and Sandusky through a mutual acquaintance, Sandusky’s unnamed private investigator, Rominger said he knew he wanted to be a part of Sandusky's case.
“Boy, this is quite a case to have,” he said. “It’s like O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony. “It’s just really interesting.”
Rominger reiterated Amendola’s comments, saying the team is not conceding guilt with Sandusky's waived preliminary hearing Tuesday. He said no discussions of a plea deal have transpired, or will transpire, mostly because of Sandusky’s age.
Sandusky is 67, and Rominger said a plea bargain would likely put him in jail for the rest of his life — meaning a trial is one of the only options left.
However, Rominger did say that if Sandusky were to enter a plea deal, he would enter an Alford plea. This would allow Sandusky to plea out of the charges, but there would be a mutual understanding that he is not admitting to the acts that allegedly occurred.
Rominger said an Alford plea is common when a defendant recognizes the prosecution has enough evidence to convince a judge of guilt, but when the defendant does not concede guilt themselves.
Amendola could not be reached for comment regarding the new partnership with Rominger.
Rominger did not say specifically if he believes Sandusky is guilty or innocent of the more than 50 charges he now faces. In the end, Rominger said, it doesn’t matter what he thinks.
“As a criminal defense lawyer, I don’t care if they're innocent because if I worry about my beliefs, then I can’t do my job,” Rominger said. “I operate on the possibility of innocence.”