Sandusky lawyer wants trial postponed
Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer on Wednesday asked for a delay in the
former Penn State assistant football coach’s child sex-abuse trial,
saying he needed more time to prepare and that he was still waiting
for disclosure of prosecution material.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola argued in a 13-page motion that
without more time, he was worried he would be ”unable to
effectively and adequately” represent Sandusky. Amendola said he
was still waiting for material from prosecutors.
Judge John Cleland has previously indicated he was reluctant to
push back the trial, currently scheduled to begin June 5 in
Bellefonte. A hearing on defense subpoenas and pretrial discovery
disputes between the defense and prosecutors was scheduled for
It wasn’t immediately clear if Cleland could, or would, rule on
the new motion at the hearing.
A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office declined to
comment. Cleland has imposed a partial gag order on lawyers in the
Sandusky, 68, is confined to his State College home to await the
start of his trial on 52 criminal counts involving 10 boys over 15
years. Sandusky has denied the allegations.
Amendola told the judge that he has made 50 requests for records
or other material from the attorney general’s office, and has not
received a response concerning the most recent 14 requests.
In a separate motion, Amendola asked Cleland to direct
prosecutors to provide paper copies of computer records he has been
given, including phone records taken from the office of former Penn
State coach Joe Paterno.
Amendola said in the delay request that the defense team needs
more time to find and interview witnesses, and that pending
criminal charges against two potential witnesses, Penn State
administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, have made them
unavailable as witnesses in June.
Lawyers for Curley, the school’s athletic director now on leave,
and Schultz, the retired vice president who supervised campus
police, have indicated their clients will invoke their Fifth
Amendment right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify if
The primary topic of Wednesday’s hearing was expected to be the
use of defense subpoenas, as school districts and government
agencies have asked him to throw them out.
Challenges to defense subpoenas have been filed by three central
Pennsylvania school districts, two county child welfare agencies,
Juniata College and three state agencies.
It’s not clear how many pretrial discovery conflicts still exist
between the attorney general’s office and Sandusky’s attorneys.
Prosecutors on Monday filed a court document telling Cleland that
much of the material sought by Sandusky has already been provided
and that dozens of other requests are not subject to mandatory
The charges against Sandusky concern his relationships with boys
he met through his charity for at-risk kids, The Second Mile,
between 1994 and 2008. Prosecutors allege Sandusky groomed the boys
for sexual abuse, offering gifts and access to the team in addition
At least some of the alleged abuse happened in the Penn State
football team’s facilities, prosecutors said. One of the alleged
attacks was witnessed by former receivers coach Mike McQueary, then
a graduate assistant.
The ensuing scandal led to the firing of Paterno and the ouster
of university President Graham Spanier.