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New Judge Appointed to Handle Sandusky Resentencing

by on October 08, 2019 11:39 AM

A new judge has been appointed to oversee the resentencing of Jerry Sandusky on his 2012 child abuse convictions.

In an order posted online on Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court assigned Judge Maureen A. Skerda to handle the case. Skerda is a Court of Common Pleas judge for Warren and Forest counties.

Jefferson County President Judge John Foradora, who has been overseeing Sandusky's Court of Common Pleas appeals since 2017, recused himself in September, citing an unrelated but unspecified recent action by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

Sandusky, the former Penn State football assistant coach and founder of the Second Mile charity for at-risk youth, had been scheduled to be in Centre County Court in September for resentencing. That hearing was delayed pending assignment of a new judge. 

A new resentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In February, a state Superior Court panel denied Sandusky a new trial but ordered that he be resentenced because trial Judge John Cleland improperly applied mandatory minimum sentences when he sentenced Sandusky to 30 to 60 years in state prison. Prosecutors argued the Superior Court could merely strip the mandatory minimum designations while maintaining the sentence structure, but the appellate judges said they did not have the authority to do so.

Foradora began presiding over the case at the county court level after Cleland, who had handled the case since Sandusky was charged in 2011, recused himself in November 2016. Cleland took himself off the case after Lindsey alleged the judge acted unethically by participating in an off-the-record, pre-trial negotiation. Cleland denied that claim but said he had no choice but to recuse after Lindsay impugned his integrity.

Prior to Sandusky being held for trial, all Centre County judges recused themselves from the case.

Sandusky, 75, is currently incarcerated at Laurel Highlands state prison in Somerset County. He maintains his innocence.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court in July declined to hear Sandusky's arguments for a new trial, exhausting his appeals at the state level.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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