The following statement was released Friday by attorneys John P. Karoly Jr. and Joseph Amendola, legal counsel for Penn State tailback Austin Scott in response to Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira and Assistant District Attorney Lance Marshall’s press release in the day:
It is indeed unfortunate that Centre County District Attorney Madeira and Assistant District Attorney Marshall have chosen to lash out at Mr. Scott’s attorneys because the Allentown Morning Call’s investigative reporters rightfully uncovered and properly disclosed something very significant and relevant about their so-called victim’s past and her credibility, which they apparently tried to keep secret. This is especially regretful since no one on the defense side of this case had anything to do with either the discovery of her past or their disclosure.
The D.A.s attempt to misdirect the public’s attention away from the very significant credibility problems uncovered about their witness by attacking us, is an old ploy which seriously underestimates the intelligence of the citizens of Centre County.
We are frankly shocked to hear that Michael T. Madeira and Lance Marshall believe that their witness will be “intimidated” by the disclosure of her own past or, that an informed public “frustrates the function of the court and the pursuit of justice.” These words sound strangely like the word of former D.A. Nifong who wrongfully prosecuted the Duke lacrosse players. We happen to believe that the Morning Call was correct to print what it uncovered and that the people of Centre County have a right to know exactly what their district attorney is doing. We also believe that the complainant in this case cannot be said to be harassed simply because she must face the truth about her past actions. Finally, we do believe, especially in light of the Scott Paxson case and Austin Scott’s case that Penn State football players are treated differently by this District Attorney’s Office than “regular citizens.” Apparently, they are not afforded the presumption of innocence the law requires.
The jury may get its chance to make a just decision based upon the evidence presented in court. But it should be based upon all the relevant evidence, not Mr. Madeira’s selected version of the evidence. And, if a jury does deliberate upon this case, we have no doubt that Mr. Scott will be fully vindicated. Mr. Scott remains unjustly accused of very serious charges. We have no intention of trying Mr. Scott’s case in the press. Yet, rest assured, we will vigorously respond each and every time the District Attorney’s Office attempts to do so. And, we hasten to remind Mr. Madeira that the court of public opinion is the right place to judge the conduct of Mr. Madeira’s office and the nature of his public pronouncements regarding his prosecution of Mr. Scott. We expect that decision to be just as well.