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Sandusky attorney not optimistic of charges dismissal
Question of the Day
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's lawyer said after a short pretrial hearing Thursday that he expected the presiding judge to soon dismiss defense motions to have the child sexual abuse charges thrown out, but he hoped he would let them be refiled after more evidence is disclosed by prosecutors.
During a 20-minute hearing attended by the retired defensive coordinator and his wife, Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola withdrew his attempt to prevent the attorney general's office from using at trial secretly recorded conversations between Mr. Sandusky and two of the 10 boys he is accused of sexually abusing.
Judge John Cleland said it would probably be next week before he makes any rulings on the set of issues that are being settled before Mr. Sandusky's trial on 52 child sexual abuse counts, which is scheduled to start in early June.
Mr. Amendola said Judge Cleland told lawyers during a private session in chambers after the hearing that remaining matters should be addressed with a filing by mid-May.
"We're still challenging all the charges, we're still challenging all the issues that we raised," Mr. Amendola told reporters afterward.
Prosecutor Joe McGettigan said he was looking forward to having the accusers offer their stories in sworn courtroom testimony. He was dismissive of Mr. Sandusky's claim that the charges lack specificity.
"In fact, he has been provided with voluminous documentation of perversions against young children," Mr. McGettigan said after the hearing.
Inside the courtroom, Mr. Amendola disclosed that prosecutors have provided him with thousands of pages of material, and that lawyers for two Penn State administrators have notified him that their clients will invoke their right against self-incrimination if called to testify in Mr. Sandusky's trial.
Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Schultz are awaiting trial on charges they failed to properly report child abuse and lied to a grand jury investigating Mr. Sandusky. Mr. Amendola wants them to testify about the report they received in 2002 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Mr. Sandusky and a boy, both naked, in a football team shower.
Mr. Amendola said the judge could split off accusations related to that boy, described as Victim 2 in court records, for a separate trial, or that he could dismiss those charges if Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz are not available as defense witnesses.
Mr. McGettigan told the judge that he wanted to be allowed to make a formal argument that would demonstrate that the two administrators are not viable as defense witnesses and therefore the case regarding Victim 2 should not be delayed.
Mr. Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal counts for allegations that span 15 years. He is confined to home while awaiting trial and has repeatedly denied the charges. He did not actively participate in the courtroom hearing Thursday.
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