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Sandusky Case: Cleland Honors Defense's Request to 'Deny Without Prejudice'

by on April 12, 2012 2:18 PM

Judge John M. Cleland honored Joe Amendola’s request to deny without prejudice the motions he withdrew at a pretrial hearing last week so that he can re-file later as ongoing investigations continue.

At an April 5 Omnibus Pretrial Motion Hearing, Cleland said he would not be making any rulings based on the ongoing Grand Jury investigation and information that stands to be presented by the prosecution to the defense.

In a two-page order issued today, Cleland wrote, “Appearing that the Commonwealth’s investigation is continuing, that discovery is ongoing, and, as a result, that some of the defendant’s requests for relief are premature; therefore, ruling will be reserved on some issues raised in the motion until a date closer to the trial.”

The point of Amendola asking Cleland to deny his motion “without prejudice” – to which the prosecution did not object – was so that he can re-file later, should the investigation end and the prosecution have more discovery material to present. Amendola said on April 5 he plans to re-file his motion. One of the requests in the motion is a full dismissal of charges against former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky faces 52 charges and is accused of abusing 10 individuals over a 15-year period. He maintains his innocence.

A trial date is set for June 5, postponed from May 14. Jury selection is expected to take at least two weeks and Amendola has asked the jury be sequestered, which has been deferred until the trial starts, according to the order issued Thursday.

On Monday, Cleland signed a sweeping order preventing anyone involved in the case or legal proceedings from commenting publicly about the case.

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Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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