Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sandusky Case Lawyers Trade Barbs after Hearing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sandusky Case Lawyers Trade Barbs after Hearing

Article excerpt

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- The two sides in the child sexual abuse case against former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sniped at each other through the media Thursday after the conclusion of an abbreviated pretrial hearing.

The proceeding, scheduled before McKean County Senior Judge John M. Cleland, was expected to last the day and cover a wide range of issues, including motions to dismiss charges and suppress evidence and statements. Instead, it concluded in just 25 minutes.

Mr. Sandusky is scheduled to stand trial June 5 on charges of sexually abusing 10 children over a 15-year period, including some on the Penn State University campus.

Many of the outstanding issues were handled by the court in conferences last week, or before Thursday's hearing, Judge Cleland said. The defense withdrew several motions that challenged a search warrant and the recordings of phone conversations.

Defense attorney Joseph Amendola will be permitted to refile what he considers to be his most significant motions that ask that the entire case against Mr. Sandusky be dismissed. The defense claims that a lack of specificity on the charges -- including the time, date and location of the alleged abuse -- makes it impossible for the case to go forward.

It's that allegation -- the lack of specificity -- that prompted Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan to speak harshly about Mr. Amendola.

Mr. Sandusky had the chance to hear the specifics of the case from the victims themselves at a preliminary hearing in December, but instead chose to waive it, Mr. McGettigan said to reporters gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse.

"The defendant did not wish to hear the litany of perversions that he was accused of and that he, in fact, committed," the prosecutor said. "He waived the preliminary hearing, which is a concession the commonwealth has enough evidence to proceed to trial. …

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