Motion dismissals foreseen

Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, at the Bellefonte courthouse after the hearing. His lawyer had wanted to stop the use of secretly recorded conversations. MATT ROURKE / AP
Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, at the Bellefonte courthouse after the hearing. His lawyer had wanted to stop the use of secretly recorded conversations. MATT ROURKE / AP (Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie,)

Sandusky lawyer says he hopes to refile them.

Posted: April 06, 2012

BELLEFONTE - Former Pennsylvania State University 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 allow them to 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 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 ironed out before Sandusky's trial on 52 child sexual abuse counts, which is scheduled to start in early June.

Amendola said 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," Amendola told reporters afterward.

Centre County District Attorney Joe McGettigan said he was looking forward to having the accusers offer their stories in sworn courtroom testimony. He was dismissive of Sandusky's claim that the charges lack specificity.

"In fact, he has been provided with voluminous documentation of perversions against young children," McGettigan said after the hearing.

Also Thursday, Joe Paterno's family released the statement he was prepared to give Nov. 8, at a news conference that was canceled an hour before it was to begin. In it, the former football coach reiterates what Paterno told the grand jury - that he wasn't told by an employee, Mike McQueary, that a sexual act happened between Sandusky and a young boy. McQueary had testified that he felt uncomfortable using graphic terms to Paterno.

The statement was provided Wednesday by Dan McGinn, the spokesman for the Paterno family. McGinn said it wasn't possible to release it during the time of the events in question. Paterno died in January.

Inside the courtroom, Amendola disclosed that prosecutors had provided him with thousands of pages of material, and that lawyers for two Penn State administrators had notified him that their clients will invoke their right against self-incrimination if called to testify in 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 Sandusky. Amendola wants them to testify about the report they received in 2002 from a graduate assistant who says he saw Sandusky and a young boy, both naked, in a football team shower.

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.

On another issue raised by Amendola - whether the statute of limitations has run out - the defense lawyer told Cleland that he disagrees with the current state of the law and expected the judge to dismiss his motion. Amendola said he wanted to preserve the question in the legal record for strategic reasons, perhaps for use in any potential appeal.

Cleland also must rule on a defense motion to throw out the search of Sandusky's State College home in June that yielded computers, records, CDs, DVDs, photos and other items. Amendola said police appear to have entered the home legally, all but conceding the matter to prosecutors.

Amendola also withdrew a motion to suppress an interview Sandusky gave to a Penn State police detective in 1998, when a mother's complaint about her son showering with the coach prompted an investigation but no charges resulted.

Cleland said an ongoing grand jury investigation has complicated the case, making it premature for him to make any final decisions about what can be prosecuted.

This article contains information from McClatchy Newspapers.

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