Jerry Sandusky Pushes Appeal, Wants To Question Victims

Jerry Sandusky’s attorneys argued today that Sandusky has a right to question his victims and the witnesses who corroborated their accounts.

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child molestation almost four years ago, and today, Sandusky and his legal team are hard at work trying to get his conviction thrown out or overturned. As a part of that strategy, Sandusky’s attorneys requested an evidentiary hearing to establish whether or not his victims and the witnesses who accused Sandusky of child molestation were credible.

Judge John Cleland pushed back against Jerry Sandusky’s defense team, arguing that Sandusky might not have the right to question his victims or the witnesses who corroborated the abuse almost four years after being found guilty of 45 counts of child molestation. According to Judge Cleland, the Pennsylvania Post-Conviction Relief Act doesn’t entitle defendants to “fishing expeditions.”

Sandusky himself was present in the courtroom, but according to NBC News, the convicted sex offender did not take any part in the discussions with the judge or with the press outside the courthouse.

“Read what has been written,” were Sandusky’s only words to the assembled press outside the Pennsylvania courthouse.

At 72-years-old, it’s unlikely Sandusky will live to see the end of his 30- to 60-year sentence for child molestation, but he maintains his innocence despite the overwhelming evidence presented against him.

“The law is very clear. You have to give me a certification of, if I have a hearing ‘Judge, this is who I’m going to put on the stand and this is what they’re going to say,’” said Judge John Cleland today, addressing the Sandusky defense team’s request to question his victims.

Additionally, the Sandusky defense team wants to question lawyers who previously represented Sandusky, including prosecutors, investigators, and one of the victims known only as “Victim 2.” Sandusky’s defense team alleges that prosecutors knew the identity of “Victim 2” but kept it secret from the defense and allowed a witness to lie about the identity of the victim, claiming it was unknown.

The Sandusky defense team also wants to determine, from Jerry Sandusky’s previous attorneys, why he was allowed to be interviewed on NBC by Bob Costas – an interview which could have had a prejudicial effect on the jury.

Judge John Cleland concluded that Jerry Sandusky’s defense team raised some important questions, but expressed doubt that the defense had enough evidence to back them up.

“My problem is that I don’t know that you’ve got the witnesses to back them up,” said Judge Cleland today, reports USA Today.

Judge Cleland did not indicate when he would rule in the case and has so far declined to make a ruling against or in favor of the defense’s motion for an evidentiary hearing in the Jerry Sandusky case.

Jerry Sandusky was an assistant coach in Penn State University’s legendary football program, a protégé of college football icon Joe Paterno until allegations surfaced that Sandusky had been molesting children for decades. The ensuing media firestorm led to Jerry Sandusky’s arrest, with victims coming out to testify against the former assistant coach, alleging that Sandusky was responsible for grooming and sexually assaulting dozens of young boys.

Jerry Sandusky found many of his victims through a youth charity he founded called the Second Mile. Over the years, Sandusky’s inappropriate behavior with young boys had been witnessed including one occasion when assistant coach Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky forcibly raping a 10-year-old boy in the showers at Penn State. McQueary reported the incident in 2002, and Sandusky wasn’t criminally charged for another 10 years, in 2012.

The 2012 trial saw Jerry Sandusky convicted of 45 sex crimes perpetrated against minors.

[Photo by AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar]