Sandusky seeks new trial

Posted: October 19, 2012

FORMER PENN STATE assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked a judge on Thursday to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions and grant him a new trial, claiming his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare and the statute of limitations for some charges had expired.

Sandusky's lawyers made the filing at the courthouse in Bellefonte, where he was sentenced 2 weeks ago to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on Penn State's campus in State College.

"The defendant submits the court's sentence was excessive and tantamount . . . to a life sentence, which the defendant submits is in violation of his rights," they wrote.

The 31-page set of motions, technically not appeals because they were filed with the trial judge, cover a wide range of assertions, including insufficient evidence, improper use of hearsay testimony and erroneous rulings from the bench.

More than a third of the document explores ways the 68-year-old Sandusky believes the rapid pace of the case violated his right to due process of law, as he went from arrest to trial in just over 7 months. His lawyers said they were swamped by documents from prosecutors, they lacked time to interview possible witnesses and an expert and two assistants were not available at trial.

The document said Judge John Cleland ruled improperly concerning the use of a computer-generated drawing of an accuser and issued incorrect jury instructions. It also raised issues about prosecutors' closing argument, the vagueness of the charges, the sequestration of jurors and the amount of restitution ordered.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the Sandusky filing was under review.

Sandusky remains in the county jail, awaiting a transfer to a state prison. Eight young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and oral and anal sex when they were boys.

Sandusky didn't testify at his trial but has consistently maintained his innocence in interviews and at sentencing.

Also Thursday, People magazine said an accuser identified in court papers as Victim 1, whose claims of being abused by Sandusky began the investigation in late 2008 and who testified against him at trial, gave an interview in which he spoke out publicly by name for the first time.

Aaron Fisher, 18, told the magazine he decided to come forward with a book to tell other victims it is better to tell people about abuse than remain silent. Fisher, who is expected to appear on ABC on Friday, said he and Sandusky's other victims "had a very long battle to see justice done."

Noteworthy * 

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he wants to monitor Everett Golson's recovery from a concussion for another 48 hours before deciding who will start at quarterback against Brigham Young on Saturday. Golson was cleared to practice Wednesday after sustaining a helmet-to-helmet hit in a win over Stanford.

* The SEC released what it called a "bridge" conference schedule for the 2013 season, which includes the Georgia-South Carolina game moving back to the second week of the season and Alabama playing at Texas A & M for the first time in 25 years.

Alabama visits A & M on Sept. 14, 2013, and hosts LSU on Nov 9. The 2013 SEC schedule, kicks off with Ole Miss visiting Vanderbilt on Aug. 31.

In a related story, Vanderbilt notified Ohio State that it was canceling its scheduled game on Aug. 31, at Ohio Stadium because of the the newly scheduled game with Ole Miss.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement he is working to get a replacement opponent.

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