Pennsylvania High Court won't hear Sandusky appeal
BELLEFONTE, PA - OCTOBER 09: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The 68-year-old Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years and not more that 60 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, left, along with Special Deputy Attorney Genera H. Geoffery Moulton Jr., talks about a report into the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation, during a news conference Monday, June 23, 2014, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathlen Kane, left and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan conduct a news conference at the Capitol announcing charges against a former state Senate leader and seven others in what they called a "pay to play" case involving the Pennsylvania Turnpike Thursday, March 13, 2013 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)
BELLEFONTE, PA - OCTOBER 09: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky walks into the Centre County Courthouse before being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Sandusky faces more than 350 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BELLEFONTE, PA - JUNE 22: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty in his sex abuse trial on June 22, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts in the sexual abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach, who was charged with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
This video framegrab provided by the courthouse pool via Commonwealth Media Services shows Jerry Sandusky describing his career and retirement from Penn State by video link from Greene State Prison in southwestern Pennsylvania, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, as testimony began in a hearing into whether he can get back the retirement benefits he lost after being convicted of child molestation. (AP Photo/Commonwealth Media Services)
Jerry Sandusky arrives for his hearing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, January 10, 2013. (Michael Kubel/Allentown Morning Call/MCT via Getty Images)
Dottie Sandusky, the wife of Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, for a hearing for her husband on Thursday, January 10, 2013. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/MCT via Getty Images)
Former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary exits the Dauphin County Courthouse, Monday, July 29, 2013, in Harrisburg, Pa. McQueary testified Monday as a star witness in a hearing for three former Penn State officials accused in a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 1999, file photo, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, right, poses with his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky during Penn State Media Day at State College, Pa. An amended complaint by the family and estate of Joe Paterno and others was filed Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in county court near State College that added Penn State as a "nominal defendant" in a lawsuit against the NCAA over the university's penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. (AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File)
FILE - In this July 12, 2012 file photo, former FBI director Louis Freeh speaks about the Freeh Report during a news conference, in Philadelphia. Penn State has released a document detailing its agreement with former FBI director Louis Freeh to investigate the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, a review that cost the school about $8.1 million. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Penn State University Office of the Physical Plant workers remove the concrete landing area that held the Joe Paterno statue, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in State College, Pennsylvania. The statue was removed on Sunday in the wake of the Louis Freeh report and Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/MCT via Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - JULY 22: Members of the Hells Angels from Connecticut visit the site where the statue of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno once stood outside Beaver Stadium on July 22, 2012 in State College, The statue was removed by workers after Pennsylvania. Penn State's president Rodney Erickson made the decision Sunday in the wake of the child sex scandal of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. According to an FBI report, it is believed that Paterno had detailed knowledge of Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing children before and after Sandusky retired from coaching at Penn State. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BELLEFONTE, PA - OCTOBER 09: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky (C) leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The 68-year-old Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years and not more that 60 years in prison for his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including while he was the defensive coordinator for the Penn State college football team. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett speaks during a gubernatorial debate with Democrat Tom Wolf on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Hershey, Pa. The debate is hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 10: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Corbett is the former state attorney general who launched the investigation in 2009 that eventually brought criminal charges against three former Penn State officials this week. As governor, Corbett is an ex-oficio member of Penn Stateâs board of trustees. Paterno was fired amid allegations that former former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The state's highest court on Wednesday said it would not review Jerry Sandusky's child molestation conviction, but other legal avenues remain open to the former Penn State assistant football coach.
Sandusky had asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to take up his 45-count conviction, arguing his lawyers were rushed too quickly to trial in 2012 and that prosecutors improperly made reference to his decision not to testify.
He also said the trial judge should have issued a jury instruction about how long it took his victims to report the abuse and that jurors should not have been told to weigh evidence of his good character against all other evidence.
Sandusky defense attorney Norris Gelman said he was disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision, which was issued in the form of a one-sentence order.
Sandusky has the right to file a new appeal.
"I'm sure he will," Gelman said.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, whose office prosecuted Sandusky, issued a statement saying she was pleased with the decision.
"Protecting Pennsylvania's children is one of my top priorities and I remain committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual abuse," Kane said.
The prosecutor's office had said that Sandusky did not provide sufficient basis for the Supreme Court to take up the matter and that decisions made by the trial judge did not violate his rights.
Michael Boni, a lawyer who represents Aaron Fisher and other Sandusky victims, said the Supreme Court made the right call.
"Hopefully this will, once and for all, put to bed any lingering hopes that Jerry will have his sentence reversed, his convictions reversed," Boni said. "It's a happy day for the victims."
Sandusky, 70, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys.
Gelman said Sandusky can file a new appeal under the state's Post Conviction Relief Act. That appeal, he said, could address any newly discovered evidence as well as any claims that Sandusky's lawyers were not effective.
Sandusky also could eventually take his case to federal court.
Eight of his victims testified at trial, describing a range of abuse from grooming and fondling to oral and anal sex, including attacks in the basement of Sandusky's home outside State College. Another witness, a graduate assistant for the team who had been a quarterback for the Nittany Lions, testified he saw Sandusky having sexual contact with a boy inside a team shower late on a Friday night.
Sandusky did not testify on his own behalf but has maintained his innocence. His lawyer has said the victims' testimony was motivated by a desire to cash in. Penn State announced last year it was paying $59.7 million to 26 people who had raised claims of abuse at Sandusky's hands.
His defense lawyers repeatedly sought delays before trial, saying they were swamped by an enormous amount of material from prosecutors and needed more time to examine the background of his accusers.
During a post-sentencing hearing, however, defense attorney Joe Amendola acknowledged that he had not discovered anything afterward that would have changed his trial strategy.
Sandusky's 2011 arrest led to the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and significant penalties levied against the school by the NCAA. Paterno was stripped of 111 of his 409 career wins while the school was fined $60 million, banned from bowl games for four years and faced steep scholarship cuts.
Three other high-ranking school officials, including the then-president, face charges they covered up complaints about Sandusky. Their case has not yet gone to trial.