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Pennsylvania High Court won't hear Sandusky appeal

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.

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robertsnedeker April 03 2014 at 4:01 PM

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - LET HIM ROT IN THERE

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Dean Sutton April 03 2014 at 12:50 PM

So, is he trying to say that they were all lying?
Or is he covertly trying to say that he is special and each time he did it to one of those boys that it was just a his well deserved reward?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
nkowalak April 03 2014 at 12:42 PM

Most states have rules that prisoners can petition the high courts for retrials. Sorry Jerry ole boy, you belong where you are.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Jan April 03 2014 at 11:55 AM

He was given a fair trial and found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, he should sit in that jail cell and think daily of all the harm he has caused. He should not be allowed to continue to waste the taxpayers money by appealing the decision of the courts. That is one of the many things that is wrong with our justice system. I KNOW, it is the best in the world, but we just let the quilty keep on using the system when it is obvious that they are guilty. We also treat the wealthy differently than the poor. If your name is Dupont (or you are related to them) you can get away with child molestation with a slap on the wrist and probation, because the guilty would not fair well in jail. Frankly I don't care if he fairs well--as a matter of fact, he shouldn't fair well. We have stopped thinking of the victims, we now only think of the rights of the perpetrators. God help us all............

Flag Reply +5 rate up
baryg April 03 2014 at 11:25 AM

I'd surely review it and make it even more uncomfortable for this stooge! He should be in a 2 by 2 cell!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
deenj1 April 03 2014 at 12:18 PM

What a disgusting human being, not only has he ruined countless lives , but he isnt man enough to take his punishment.
I hope he rots in hell my heart goes out to his victims who were brave enough to come forward against this monster.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Mastermind April 03 2014 at 12:47 PM

His wife is an accomplice. I've wondered why she has not been held responsible for her part in facilitating his ability to victimize children in their home. No wonder her son never spoke to her directly about it, she already knew and was doing nothing. Horrific at every level, it would be better for all if he and his wife were never heard from again.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
zzyxx April 03 2014 at 12:42 PM

he looks very happy in jail................keep him there.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
Pearltrans zzyxx April 03 2014 at 4:40 PM

Has he actually gone to jail yet, or is he free pending appeal?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
sptonner April 03 2014 at 11:11 AM

let him out,,,,there are people in society who can" speak with him" and set him straight,,,,like the fathers of the victims.............;).......hes a piece of sheet and doesn't deserve the freedoms we all do outside jail

Flag Reply +7 rate up
Deidra April 03 2014 at 11:10 AM

The court did a good thing, I cannot imagine how his attorneys even think a second trial will change the outcome. Unless they were not really present at the original trial ? This man and his disgusting actions brought now , all those who he abused. Second it brought down a school and the board who sat in wonderment while this was going on . The power of one man Mr. Sandusky, was at one time great, the truth finally came out.. and finally the power is in a cell, as those who knew should be.
If this happened to your child no oe listened, walk in their shoes and think how you would feel?
The courts answer was right, we all know it.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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