Prosecution urges rejection of Sandusky request over visit

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2012 3:13 AM
Prosecution urges rejection of Sandusky request over visit

By Mark Shade

HARRISBURG, Pa (Reuters) - Pennsylvania prosecutors who have charged Jerry Sandusky with sexually abusing boys filed a fierce response on Tuesday to the former Penn State assistant football coach's request to be allowed to see his grandchildren in his home.

Sandusky, 67, faces 52 criminal charges that he molested 10 boys over a 15-year period and has been tethered to his house under the terms of his release on bail in December that barred contact with anyone under age 18. He has maintained his innocence.

His indictment last November prompted Penn State to fire Joe Paterno, the beloved long-time head coach who died on January 22, and triggered the ouster of university president Graham Spanier.

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, asked the court last month to let Sandusky see his grandchildren under the supervision of an adult, to visit with adult friends in his home, and go to Amendola's office to work on his defense.

But Attorney General Linda Kelly, after receiving information that Sandusky had shoveled snow outside his home last month and was recently observed on his home's rear deck watching children play at a neighboring school, said Sandusky was fortunate to be under house arrest in the first place.

"He has been granted the privilege of being confined in his own home, which is spacious and private and where he can eat food of his own preference and sleep in his own bed at night," Kelly wrote in response to Amendola's request for bail modification.

But she said there were no conditions of bail that could ensure the community's peace of mind if Sandusky were allowed to have contact with children or "to circumvent house arrest under the pretense of assisting in preparing for his defense."

In a related note, Amendola, in one of four motions filed with Judge John Cleland, asked the court to order the attorney general's office to turn over hundreds of pages of pre-trial documents that were redacted by prosecutors.

Sandusky, Amendola, and state prosecutors could get the answers to their legal maneuverings during a Friday morning appearance in Centre County Court. The attorney general's office was also seeking approval to bring in a jury from another county to hear Sandusky's trial later this year.

(Editing By Cynthia Johnston)