Some Penn State Students Drank and Went to Taco Bell with Jerry Sandusky’s Lawyer Last Night, Just Hours Before Sandusky was Sentenced to 30-60 Years in Prison

Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 4.46.37 PMPic via Kevin Horne, Onward State's managing editor

Earlier today I came across a Deadspin post which recapped the eventful and odd evening had by some Penn State students last night. It all started for them when Jerry Sandusky’s co-counsel, Karl Rominger, the oversharing sidekick of Joe Amendola, tweeted (and since deleted) an offer:

Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 4.50.51 PMScreen dutifully grabbed by SB Nation

That was less than 12 hours before Rominger was scheduled to appear in court for Sandusky's sentencing.

A few Penn State students – including some from Onward State, an independent student website that has been covering the Sandusky saga, and The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper – showed up. The Daily Collegian reporter, a coed, brought along a notebook in what turned out to be a fruitless attempt to interview Rominger. The folks from Onward State, Kevin Horne and Drew Balis (and friends), whose names I recognized from their coverage over the past year, were just there for the free drinks, ostensibly paid for by Sandusky. They tweeted updates, which Deadspin has aggregated quite nicely. But I decided to reach out to them to see what their night was like– drinking with a lawyer for one of the most notorious criminals of this new millenium just hours before sentencing.

Drew Balis: [edited, for readability]

We walked in there. Rominger was sitting there at the bar and we introduced ourselves one-by-one, joked with him that we were covering the trial and probably shouldn’t be here, but whatever. He went around and bought everybody a drink.

He was pretty relaxed and we asked him a couple of things about [sentencing], and he pretty much said his job was done and, “Tomorrow, I’ll just be praying.” And he mimicked the praying motion.


Rominger was pleased when a coed seemingly responded to his bat signal. Balis:

Karl was tweeting to get a girl to show up, so she (the Daily Collegian reporter) gets there and he’s trying to entice her to get a drink. She said she can’t do that, it’s against the rules [for the Daily Collegian]. She came in carrying a notebook, and he was going to offer to buy her a drink, like he did for everybody. He was trying to get her to loosen up a little bit. But she said she wasn’t allowed to drink in his presence. He asked the bartender to give her a glass of milk, something like that.

 He was like, “What do you mean you won’t drink anything? You should go to Messiah College.” Or something like that. Just more jokes like that.

I don’t think he was really trying to hit on her, I just think he was trying to have an informal thing. He was just trying to get her to take off her reporter hat, just relax a little bit.


Perhaps take off something else, too.

Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 4.58.40 PM

Rominger attempts to buy a student reporter a drink, pic via Horne's Twitter

During all this, Horne, the managing editor for Onward State, was tweeting updates. He wrote that Rominger was debating whether or not the Collegian reporter was hot. And, this:

Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 5.01.09 PM
Screen Shot 2012-10-09 at 5.01.09 PM

Asked why he was at Zeno’s just hours before a monumental moment in his career, Rominger offered Balis a simple response: “They got Belgian beer, man. What the fuck kind of question is that?” 

I asked Balis if anyone gave Rominger a hard time – since, you know, he’s defending the worst person on earth – but Balis said it was all cordial. The bartender at Zeno's knew Rominger, a frequent patron, and joked that he wouldn’t wish him luck at sentencing, but that it was “nice to see” him.

Everyone left the bar sometime around midnight. Balis walked home whilst some of his friends lingered outside the establishment.

Including Rominger. 

Balis, who buried the lede in our conversation, told me that Horne and others wound up living mas with Sandusky’s lawyer – now roughly nine hours away from sentencing – when the group crossed the border for some late-night munchies… at Taco Bell.

“Do you want to call Kevin?” Balis asked. “He was at Taco Bell with Rominger.”

Do I want to call Kevin and ask him what happened after midnight at Taco Bell with Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer just hours before the sentencing hearing? Is Big Bird in grave danger?! OF COURSE I WANT TO TALK TO KEVIN! 

I called Horne.


I ran into three friends, we were all talking. And then I see Karl, meandering down the street, alone. He’s like, “Yo, where can I get some drunk food?!"


So, Rominger, Horne, his girlfriend, and others walked a block to Taco Bell. Horne told me that Rominger, who was at least several beers deep, seemingly ordered two of everything on the menu.


We sat there and shot the shit for a half an hour, 45 minutes or so. Rominger told us to put our phones away at one point when we were talking. He said he didn’t expect to get paid for the case– he was doing it for publicity for his firm and that’s why he took it.


Rominger then told Horne that the Second Mile’s insurance company wound up picking up a lot of the legal bills, so he was getting paid. He also said Sandusky wasn't going to last long in prison and that he stood a 50/50 chance of winning his appeal.

There was more, but Horne said some parts of the odd conversation were off-the-record and that he intended to keep it that way. Dammit.

Rominger and his new friends all left Taco Bell at around 2 a.m., about seven hours before Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. 

Rominger and Amendola plan to appeal on behalf of their client.

I asked Horne if there was anything else worth sharing:

The whole thing. We were all drunk, and it was like “Karl’s in college again.”  


And his client is in jail, for good.


41 Responses

  1. I’m a psu student who was at zeno’s last night, Rich Hoffman was also there. Looked like he was looking mad they only had the yanks game on 1 tv

  2. easy were good people. theres a reason its called happy valley. everyones happy and you wont find nicer people at any college anywhere else in the country. if you have ever been here even just for a visit youd know that. So bill, before forming biased opinions that have no basis in anything but youre own preconceptions. experience us first. (sidenote: not all of us are in the “paterno/psu football is the only thing that matters” cult. those people are the douchebags you speak of)

  3. Johnnyrockets27
    “theres a reason its called happy valley. everyones happy and you wont find nicer people at any college anywhere else in the country.”
    That’s possibly the stupidest thing I have read in my life you sound like a cheap local car commercial. Here’s a quarter kid go fucking call someone that cares.

  4. Sports is Entertainment….nothing more.
    Lawyers, Guns and Money.
    Rome had it’s Coliseum ….now every city has a stadium/coliseum
    gotta keep the masses happy.

  5. A scumbag defending one of the worst pieces of human excrement that has ever walked the earth was trying to get some fresh young college PSUssy. A happy ending to this story would have involved a person beating this guy to within an inch of his life. THAT would be a happy ending. Fucking Lawyers.

  6. @ Your mother
    Read The Bill of Rights/Constitution before you go writing things that make you sound ignorant.

  7. Sandusky stands a 50/50 chance at winning his appeal? How has this escaped any comment, or gee I don’t know, follow up question?

  8. If you took a drink from this scumbag you’re a scumbag, end of story. Curiosity isn’t a good enough

  9. Agreed, MM. Rominger all through this ordeal has been an absolute scumbag trying to weasel some small form of celebrity out of this as if the whole thing was a joke. Children were raped…by HIS client, and yet he’s yukking it up on twitter and begging students half his age to drink and play pool with him.
    The only thing more pathetic are the PSU students and those Blind Loyalist creeps at Onward State who worship this cretin. Then again Rominger is just another in a long line of garbage PSU students worship.

  10. I have to say that this story just solidified my opinion of Penn State. I know people who went to that college and they all have an air of entitlement about them. Now I know it is just arrogance and disregard for anyone other than themselves. Those students who befriended Sandusky’ creepy lawyer should be expelled. That whole school has become a national disgrace.

  11. Your Mother’s Father, It’s also “legal” to marry at age 15 in some states. It doesn’t make it right. At one time our bill of rights didn’t allow women to vote. It didn’t make it right. Get a fucking clue DAD! I swear, some people are fucking asswipes.

  12. Now the civil damages lawsuits will begin.
    Read where the Penn State Endowment Fund has $6 billion….

  13. “The only thing more pathetic are the PSU students and those Blind Loyalist creeps at Onward State who worship this cretin.”
    …the hell?
    What about this story could possibly make you think anyone at Onward State worships Rominger? Sounds a heck of a lot more like they were taking advantage of him. People need to chill.

  14. Mark, read back through Onward State’s posts over the summer about Rominger. They treated him like a Rock Star.

  15. PSU is full of fuckin assholes…
    You dummies riot for any stupid thing. Bin Laden died? LET’S GET THE ENTIRE SCHOOL TO RUN AROUND AND KNOCK SHIT OVER ON COLLEGE AVE!
    PSU Students are like that 60 year old Dad who turns into a bitter asshole when he’s drunk. The campus is in the middle of no where, so the “norm” when something big happens is to fucking riot.
    Grow the fuck up

  16. Our Head Coach knowingly turned his back when he heard about Sandusky’s awful crimes, and allowed him to remain on campus?!?!?!?

  17. Mr Taste…
    I like the name. Quite fitting with what has been going on with your school the past year or so.
    In response to your lame comeback – let me state that I’ve been to “HAPPY VALLEY” a few times in my life. Look-up cult in the dictionary and that’s exactly what you’ll see on that campus.
    It’s pretty fucking disturbing.

  18. Tim Sheckler…you and all the other morons who call Penn Staters a “cult” are out of your fucking minds if you think that type of stuff doesn’t happen at other schools. I’ve been to PSU games at other college campuses, and it was the same type of atmosphere at every place I went. You guys really need to get that idea out of your heads.

  19. RW…
    It’s okay to go to football games. It’s okay to cheer for your favorite team on Saturday. Wear the same colors as everyone else at the stadium, that’s OK too!
    Cults begin once the community begins erecting murals, statues, buildings, cut-out posters, etc.
    Paterno was PSU’s mickey mouse. Ever been to Disney? Just like kids wear mickey mouse ears, grown ADULTS wear eye glasses to emulate Paterno.
    The town hasn’t moved on from their old coach, AKA the enabler, and probably never fully will. Interviews from crying men and women saying that the paterno statue being taken down was the “worst day of their life” is about as cult-like as anything can get.
    Sorry Kid.

  20. We spoken Tim Sheckler. You hit the nail on the head.
    I’ve been to Happy Valley as well, and enjoyed myself, and must admit it is a very beautiful campus and area.
    But it is also creepy as hell with that idol worship of Paterno. The cardboard cutouts of him in every other store window. Like Big Brother in 1984 always watching.
    And when those kids get drunk up there, that cult like behavior and ferocity concerning the stupid football program comes pouring out.
    (You however forgot, “Hey it’s Arts Fest! Let’s Riot!!!”)

  21. JMB you are a fool. All college towns are that way. The only difference is most college coaches get involved in a recruiting issue after a few years or are fired for sucking, like you. Stick your illiterate head back in the sand. “We spoken” ha ha

  22. Zinging my typo. Good catch.
    If I were wearing my Joe Paterno coke bottle eye glasses like the rest of you sheep, I may have caught that.
    Head in the sand, Iron Balls. Head in the sand.

  23. Instead of arguing against the cult accusations of PSU above, the jackass decided to make fun of a typo instead.
    Typical cult-like behavior.

  24. Actually I asked about other towns but you refuse to answer. “I’d rather shower at Penn State than cheer for the Wolverines” shirt from OSU. Wow. Making light of pedophilia. Cult-like indeed

  25. With all the hate thrown toward PSU on this blog. Who’s the bitter asshole Tim? A bunch of classless Philadelphians. No wonder our city has a rep. Bunch of fuckin hate mongers. News flash, second mile, child youth services, and department of human welfare let Sandusky run wild when they had confessions and psychological evaluations stating that Sandusky was grooming kids back in 98, not Joe fucking Paterno. Paterno hated that fuckin creepy goofball. Of course most of you retards dont care. Why did the governor, AG, and everyone pin it on PSU? Cuz our fat, greedy, incompetent government couldnt have another black eye where they allowed this to happen right under their noses and then allowed Sandusky to adopt 4 more children after they knew he was a pedophile. I only wish there were more Joe Paterno’s in this world and less spineless liberal pussies.
    PS. You wanna talk arrogance in college education? Why dont you ask Kyle how life was like on the main line?

  26. Mike Vick you crazy. You’re Penn State’s version of AL TRU, just makin shit up.
    Joe Paterno was a coward.

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