No Rulings in Sandusky Hearing
Jerry Sandusky spoke out Friday after a hearing that could give the accused child molester more freedoms.
A judge Friday heard arguments on issues ranging from Sandusky’s bail conditions to the possibility of picking a jury from outside Centre County.
After the hearing Sandusky went before the media to complain about prosecutors demanding more bail restrictions.
The former Penn State football coach took the witness stand and told a judge he is against picking jurors from outside Centre County for a possible trial in May, even if that means he could not appeal any conviction based on the bias of a local jury.
Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting ten boys over a number of years and Friday asked the judge for more freedoms while he is on house arrest awaiting trial on those charges.
Along with his wife and defense attorneys, Sandusky walked into Centre County court in Bellefonte hoping to make the case for lighter bail restrictions.
Right now, Sandusky is on house arrest at his home near State College. He wants to be able to visit his grandchildren and family friends there, even leave to discuss the case with his attorneys.
Prosecutors argued in court that Sandusky’s neighbors are concerned, having seen the former Penn State football coach on his back porch, watching children at the nearby elementary school.
“Those very neighbors who’ve expressed concerns for children’s safety, who five months ago would come over to Jerry’s house with their kids,” said defense attorney Joe Amendola.
“Obviously the neighbors months ago didn’t know what they know now,” said Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo.
Prosecutors argued against giving Sandusky more leeway while on house arrest, saying, “This home was not safe for children for 15 years, and it’s not safe for children now.”
Prosecutors also want jurors from outside Centre County who, they said, may not be as likely to have ties to Penn State, to Sandusky’s charity The Second Mile, or to be a Nittany Lion football fan.
“We’re trying to avoid those problems by asking for an out-of-county jury because we want to get the case tried as soon as possible. We want the verdict to be not only valid verdict but one perceived to be so as well,” Constanzo added.
Defense attorneys disagreed, and the judge called Sandusky to the stand to testify. Sandusky said he believes it does not matter where in Pennsylvania the jurors are from.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, put their point a little more clearly.
“Where can we go folks? You’re the media, where can we go that this case hasn’t saturated the news?” Amendola asked.
The judge in this case is expected to rule on the bail and jury motions as early as next week.
As for a trial, so far both sides said they are preparing for a May 14 start, about three months from now.