Judge refuses to delay Jerry Sandusky’s trial
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The June child sex-abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will not be delayed, a judge ruled Monday.
The one-sentence order by Judge John Cleland did not explain his reasons, but it means the case will very likely begin with jury selection inside a central Pennsylvania courthouse in barely two weeks.
Sandusky lawyer Joe Amendola had asked for the delay on May 9, arguing that he needed more time to find and interview witnesses, and that pending criminal charges against two Penn State administrators made them unavailable as witnesses.
He said without the delay, he was concerned he would not be able to represent Sandusky effectively and adequately.
Cleland said there will be a May 30 hearing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte if needed to consider legal arguments or conduct factual hearings for any unresolved pretrial issues that may remain.
Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal counts for alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years, allegations he has repeatedly denied. Jury selection is scheduled to begin June 5, with jurors chosen from the State College area, where Sandusky lives.
The ruling was among a set of decisions issued on Monday in which Cleland, among other things:
—Ordered prosecutors to disclose “uncharged misconduct evidence” against Sandusky by May 30.
—Required defense lawyers to provide prosecutors reports by experts or of physical exams, mental examinations or scientific tests they plan to use as part of their case by May 30.
—Ordered prosecutors to file their written responses by the end of the day Friday to Sandusky’s efforts to have the charges against him thrown out.
—Declined to get involved in the defense’s effort to get grand jury materials earlier than currently planned.
Sandusky lawyer Karl Rominger and a spokesman for the attorney general’s office declined to comment on the various rulings Monday. Cleland has imposed a gag order that applies to lawyers and others in the case.
Gary Schultz, a retired Penn State vice president for business and finance, and Tim Curley, the university’s athletic director now on leave, are accused of perjury and failing to properly report suspected child abuse. Both men deny the allegations and are seeking to have them thrown out.
Their lawyers have informed Amendola that they will invoke their right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify if subpoenaed as witnesses in Sandusky’s case.
Also Monday, a Centre County judge authorized the county probation and parole office to disclose information in its juvenile files related to so-called Victim 10 to Sandusky’s lawyers. The information covered by the ruling includes complaints, a juvenile petition and any related attachments and police reports, any court orders, a victim claim form with attachments, an intake hearing report, a letter and the juvenile referral record, among other documents.
Judge Pamela Ruest also listed items that were excluded from her order if they exist, including school records, internal notes, drug and alcohol treatment reports and medical information.
Sandusky was charged in December with abuse of “Victim 10” that allegedly included oral sex. The grand jury report issued at that time said the young man had met Sandusky through a charity Sandusky founded for children, and that “Victim 10” contacted authorities through a tip line after Sandusky was first charged in early November.
Last week, a different Centre County judge made a similar ruling regarding probation and parole records that pertain to “Victim 4.” In both cases, Sandusky’s lawyers were directed to not disclose the information to third parties, and return the records once the cases are concluded, or provide proof they have been destroyed.
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