Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach accused of sexually abusing boys, failed to persuade the state Supreme Court to delay his criminal trial.
Jury selection is set to begin tomorrow in the Court of Common Pleas in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, with opening arguments scheduled for June 11. Sandusky, 68, sought intervention from the state high court after the judge presiding over the trial denied his second request to postpone it, ruling that no other date would be better.
Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for Penn State’s Nittany Lions, is charged with 52 criminal counts related to the alleged abuse of 10 boys he met through a charity he founded for needy children.
In seeking a delay, Sandusky cited the inability of experts to attend the trial or be prepared to assist the defense, including a jury consultant who won’t be available until the end of July, and the impending surgery of a defense paralegal and investigator. Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney, has argued that lawyers need more time to prepare and review the pretrial material provided by prosecutors.
“I’ll see everyone in court in the morning,” Amendola said in an e-mail to reporters.
Earlier today, state court Judge John M. Cleland denied requests from five of the alleged victims to use pseudonyms to protect their identities during the trial. There is no support in state law for offering anonymity to an adult witness because the witness is one of a class of victims of a particular form of crime, Cleland said.
Tom Kline, an attorney for a man identified in court records as alleged victim 5, said his client was “assessing our appeal options,” and may do so if that wouldn’t delay the start of the trial.
“As of this point my client does plan to testify,” Kline said in an e-mail. “Although identity protection is very important to him, he recognizes the necessity to cooperate, as required by the court, to secure justice.”
The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-2011, Court of Common Pleas, Centre County, Pennsylvania (Bellefonte).