Sandusky Asks Judge to Dismiss Abuse Charges, Postpone Trial
Former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is scheduled to face trial in May for allegedly abusing boys during a 15-year period, asked a judge to dismiss many of the charges against him.
Prosecutors haven’t been specific enough about the allegations, violating Sandusky’s constitutional rights by preventing him from adequately preparing and presenting a defense, attorney Joseph Amendola said in papers filed in state court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Sandusky, 68, is charged with more than 50 counts tied to the alleged abuse of boys he met through a charity he founded for needy children. The case led to last year’s firings of Penn State President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno. Prosecutors have denied Sandusky’s requests for details on times and places of the alleged acts of sex abuse, citing the victims’ trauma.
Prosecutors are reviewing Sandusky’s filing and will respond to the court, Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, said today in a phone interview.
Sandusky argued that in addition to not being specific, charges related to three alleged victims lack sufficient evidence, The statute of limitations may have run out for charges related to eight of the 10 boys, Sandusky said.
Charges over one boy, whose identity is still unknown, were based solely on the testimony of assistant football coach Mike McQueary, Amendola said in court papers. The boy is identified only as Victim 2 in a grand jury report.
Grand Jury Testimony
McQueary told the grand jury that he witnessed Sandusky molesting what appeared to be a 10-year-old boy in a locker room shower in March 2002. McQueary’s testimony, at preliminary hearings for two Penn State officials charged with perjury in the case, didn’t establish sufficient evidence to support the charges, Amendola said.
Amendola cited the potential refusal by the university officials, Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz, to testify at Sandusky’s trial in May as a reason to delay the case.
Curley, Penn State’s athletic director, and Schultz, a former vice president at the school, “are the only witnesses known to the defendant who can testify as to what Michael McQueary told them concerning the defendant’s alleged actions on March 1, 2002,” Amendola said in court papers.
In addition to the dismissal requests, Sandusky said that a June search of his home was illegal and any information collected should be barred, along with details from taped conversations he had with two alleged victims in June 2009 and last November.
He also asked that state court Judge John M. Cleland sequester a jury for its two-week selection process and during the trial.
“It is unrealistic to expect that the jurors selected to hear his cases will be able to totally and completely insulate themselves from all contact and information related to his cases during the course of his trial,” Amendola said.
The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-2011, Court of Common Pleas, Centre County, Pennsylvania (Bellefonte).
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