Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 02, 2013 2:30 PM
Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, convicted of sexually molesting boys for more than a decade, lost a bid on Wednesday for a new trial.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Jack Panella, writing for a three-judge appeals panel, rejected claims that defense attorneys were not given enough time to prepare, jury instructions were flawed and prosecutors made improper comments during the trial about Sandusky's decision not to testify.

Sandusky, 69, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison. He was convicted in June 2012 of molesting 10 boys over 15 years.

His attorney, Norris Gelman, said he plans to appeal the ruling.

"We are disappointed in the decision, and we had hopes for something better," Gelman said.

The Penn State scandal stunned the world of major college sports and raised questions about the motivation of people who may have been aware of Sandusky's behavior and failed to report a top coach in the school's lucrative football program.

Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I college football history until he was stripped of more than 100 victories because of the scandal, lost his job at Penn State for failing to report Sandusky to authorities.

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Paterno died early last year at age 85, about two months after he was fired.

Three former Penn State administrators, including the former president, Graham Spanier, face criminal charges stemming from the scandal, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which regulates U.S. college sports, levied heavy sanctions against the school's football program.

Penn State has settled several civil claims filed by Sandusky's victims, setting aside some $60 million to do so.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; and Jeffrey Benkoe)