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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.

Join the discussion

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LNOFT97 April 02 2014 at 6:43 PM

GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL OF IT GOOD! Rot in Hell, Paterno. Warm up a bed for Sandusky.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
billybuttlooker April 02 2014 at 7:25 PM

Wonder what PaPa Joe would do

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
neutrinogoop billybuttlooker April 02 2014 at 7:38 PM

If he were still alive, he'd also belong in prison for obstruction of justice for knowing what was going on and doing nothing about it so that his greed for fame and fortune could continue.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Scott April 02 2014 at 7:26 PM

I don't think Mr. Sandusky received justice. I agree with him! In order that he receive what he deserves, he should be placed in a 6 x 12 foot cell, at Corcoran or Pelican Bay, with a cellie who's the biggest, most aggressive, and most brutal male homosexual rapist in the USA. If and when he complains about that placement, he should be told that the only other placement available is with a serial killer who dismembers his victims piece by piece before they finally succumb to death. Now THAT WOULD BE JUSTICE!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
Bestel Comm Scott April 02 2014 at 7:40 PM

he don't need a cell mate all he need to do go out in the rec yard or be alone after lockdown , someone with a shank on the end of a broom handle will end him. These guys don't like child molesters at all !!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
digsec April 02 2014 at 7:35 PM

why give this ******* the honor of calling him human

Flag Reply +1 rate up
len5 April 02 2014 at 7:25 PM

He's probably safer in prison.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
cbtovest April 02 2014 at 7:36 PM

Lock him up and throw away the key!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
U2Fish4JC April 02 2014 at 7:29 PM

Oh and..night, night Jerry. Sleep tight

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ozhatt April 02 2014 at 6:51 PM

Let him ROT

Flag Reply +4 rate up
littledog1 April 02 2014 at 6:49 PM

He better watch his back!!
Rot in Hell you SOB!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
tdiplaci littledog1 April 02 2014 at 6:57 PM

He will be watching the other young prisoners backs. Maybe help them wash their backsides in the shower.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
crrunch April 02 2014 at 7:28 PM

10 people (and probably more) can't all be wrong. He's exactly where he should be and stay there.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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