Court won't hear Sandusky appeal in sex abuse case
Apr. 02, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — Pennsylvania's Supreme Court said Wednesday it would not review the child molestation conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky, 70, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys, a scandal that marred one of the country's premier university sports programs. His arrest led to the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
Sandusky had argued his lawyers were rushed too quickly to trial in 2012 and that prosecutors improperly made reference to his decision not to testify. He also said the trial judge should have issued a jury instruction about how long it took his victims to report the abuse and that jurors should not have been told to weigh evidence of his good character against all other evidence.
Sandusky defense attorney Norris Gelman said he was disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision, which was issued in the form of a one-sentence order.
Sandusky has the right to file a new appeal.
"I'm sure he will," Gelman said.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, whose office prosecuted Sandusky, issued a statement saying she was pleased with the decision.
"Protecting Pennsylvania's children is one of my top priorities and I remain committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual abuse," Kane said.
The prosecutor's office had said that Sandusky did not provide sufficient basis for the Supreme Court to take up the matter and that decisions made by the trial judge did not violate his rights.
Eight of Sandusky's victims testified at his trial, describing a range of abuse from grooming and fondling to oral and anal sex, including attacks in the basement of the former coach's home. Another witness, a graduate assistant for the team who had been a quarterback for the Nittany Lions, testified he saw Sandusky having sexual contact with a boy inside a team shower late on a Friday night.
Sandusky did not testify on his own behalf but has maintained his innocence. His lawyer has said the victims' testimony was motivated by a desire to cash in. Penn State announced last year it was paying $59.7 million to 26 people who had raised claims of abuse at Sandusky's hands.