Judge Denies Sandusky a New Trial

Pa. judge denies former Penn State assistant football coach's appeal for a new trial on child-abuse charges

By Mark Scolforo
|  Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013  |  Updated 9:38 AM PDT
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Sandusky Returns to Bellefonte for Appeals Hearing

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Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on Oct. 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)

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Sandusky Returns to Bellefonte for Appeals Hearing

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers are optimistic about getting a new trial for the former Penn State assistant football coach even though it seems unlikely. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports with the latest.
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Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky isn't getting the new trial he asked for after arguing that his lawyers weren't given enough time to prepare for the proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict.

Judge John Cleland on Wednesday issued a 27-page order that said Sandusky's lawyers conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.

"I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant's trial counsel failed to test the prosecution's case in a meaningful manner," Cleland wrote. "The defendant's attorneys subjected the commonwealth's witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument."

He also rejected post-sentencing motions regarding jury instructions, hearsay testimony and a comment by the prosecution during closing arguments that referred to the fact that Sandusky, who did not testify at trial, gave media interviews after he was arrested in November 2011.

Cleland said the prosecution's closing was not presented in a way that "was either calculated to, or did, create in the jurors a fixed bias toward the defendant."

Sandusky also argued that charges should have been thrown out because they were not sufficiently specific, but Cleland said the lack of specific dates did not prevent Sandusky from pursuing an alibi defense.

"The defendant has simply argued the offenses did not happen," Cleland said.

The former Penn State assistant football coach is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence (virtually a life sentence for the 69-year-old) for sexual abuse of 10 boys. He's maintained his innocence and vowed to appeal.

Sandusky lawyer Norris Gelman says the decision means the defense will appeal to mid-level Superior Court within the next 30 days.

The state attorney general's office, which prosecuted Sandusky, offered no immediate comment.

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