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Sandusky Appeal Heard Before Court

by on September 17, 2013 5:14 PM

The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard oral arguments today for Jerry Sandusky's appeal. Sandusky's attorney's primary argument was that the jury was not told about the amount of time it took the victims to report they had been sexually abused by Sandusky.

"None of them made a prompt report," Sandusky's appeal attorney Norris Gelman said. "And the time that lapsed between the alleged molestation and the initial reports is striking."

One of the three judges presiding, William Platt, said to Gelman that the people in question were children. Gelman said it is misleading to say that children are exempt from reporting the crimes, as they are not children forever. Many of those who said Sandusky abused them were in their 20's when they came forward.

Gelman argued that that information should have been included in the judge's instructions to the jury. In other words, the jury should have considered the amount of time it took Sandusky's victims to come forward, as it might have affected the outcome of the verdict.

Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys he met through his charity, The Second Mile. He is currently serving a 30 to 60 year sentence.

Sandusky was not in attendance today at his hearing, but his wife, Dottie Sandusky, was.

Attorney James Barker, representing the commonwealth in the case, said that children don't always come forward in sexual abuse cases.

"All of the concepts needed to be conveyed to this jury were," Barker said. "[The Jury] knew what was at issue. There was an extensive argument made by the defense council on delay in reporting and the judge said to use common sense to reach a conclusion."

Gelman also argued for a new trial based on the fact that lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan, in his closing argument, told the jury that Sandusky should have said more during his trial. Sandusky did not testify in his defense and was not required to do so.

According to Gelman, McGettigan said that Sandusky spoke to Bob Costas, so why not speak to McGettigan? Gelman that was irrelevant and that McGettigan was trying to get the jury to think it was a pity Sandusky didn't get to be interviewed by the Attorney General's office.

Barker said that the comments made by McGettigan were simply about the Costas interview that Sandusky gave before his trial, and that it had nothing to do with Sandusky's decision not to testify.

Gelman's last point was that Sandusky's defense did not have enough time to prepare an adequate defense, as 12,000 pages of evidence was given to the defense last minute. Even though lead defense attorney Joe Amendola said after the trial he would not have done anything differently had he been given more time to prepare, Gelman said Amendola said that after he had time to actually sort through all the documents. 

Barker said in rebuttal that the amount of documents given to the defense amounted to about only two boxes of material. Barker said the defense had enough time, they just didn't use their time wisely. 

Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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