Superior Judges Hear Sandusky Appeal In Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE -- The latest chapter in the case against Jerry Sandusky comes to Luzerne County.

Now Sandusky is appealing his conviction of sexually abusing 10 children. And in a strange scheduling twist, that appeal before the state Superior Court was heard Tuesday afternoon at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.

Sandusky's plea for a new trial is one of dozens of cases that a panel of state superior judges will listen to over the next two days in Luzerne County.

His trial attracted media attention from every corner of the commonwealth and from around the nation. Now Jerry Sandusky is appealing his conviction for sexually abusing 10 young boys.

Nearly every seat in Courtroom 3 was filled Tuesday afternoon. Reporters and curious onlookers listened to a total of 30 minutes of arguments.

Sandusky's attorney says mistakes were made at least years trial and Sandusky's conviction should be overturned.

The state says its case and the victims who testified were solid.

Dottie Sandusky ignored most questions as she tried to rush past cameras and leave the Luzerne County Courthouse.

"Can you tell us the last time you spoke to your husband?"
"Last Thursday," Sandusky said.
"How's he doing?"
"Great," she said.

She sat through the appeals hearing while her husband Jerry is locked up in a state prison about 300 miles away. The former Penn State coach found guilty of 45 child sex abuse charges last summer wants his conviction overturned.

Sandusky's lawyers say prosecutors unfairly told the jury that he agreed to a national TV interview, but wouldn't take the stand in his own defense.

When the attorney general's office finally handed over 11,000 pages of evidence before the trial, Norris Gelman, Sandusky's appeal attorney, says the judge in Centre County refused to delay the case for Sandusky's trial attorney, Joe Amendola.

"During the trial he was forced to try it blindly. He had no idea what his questions would lead to," Gelman said.

Gelman questioned many of the young men who testified against Sandusky, calling them "rough and tumble" Second Mile kids.

Second Mile was the name of the charity that Sandusky founded for disadvantaged children.

A panel of three state Superior Court judges, Sallie Mundy, Jack Panella, and Senior Judge William Platt, heard 15 minutes of testimony from both sides.

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Barker told the judges that the witnesses' stories added up, that there was no misconduct in the courtroom, and that the boxes of evidence that were handed over before the trial had little relevance to the case.

"The volume of material that they received is not really overwhelming for lawyers. Lawyers deal with documents all the time. As I pointed out to the court, two boxes of material is something they would consider in an afternoon."

Sandusky, 69, is serving a 40 to 60 year sentence at a state prison near Pittsburgh.

The former Penn State coach was found guilty last July of sexually abusing 10 boys on and near Penn State's campus in Centre County.

The panel of state superior judges is not expected to decide today if Sandusky should get a new trial.