Sandusky's Appeal Denied by Superior Court
Jerry Sandusky's first hope for a new trial was crushed Wednesday morning.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court submitted its opinion today on the former Penn State defensive coordinator's appeal. The court denied the appeal, upholding Sandusky's conviction.
Sandusky was convicted in summer 2012 on 45 counts of child sex abuse. He is currently serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison.
One of the main points Sandusky's attorney Norris Gelman argued at the appeal, which occurred only weeks ago, was that the judge should have told the jury that many of Sandusky's victims took years to report their sexual abuse, and that the absence of such an instruction prejudiced the jury.
The defense did ask for it to be included when the jury was charged. The judge refused since delays in reporting of sexual abuse is common.
The superior court says in its opinion that the court's instructions about the credibility of witnesses defined the issues for the jurors clearly enough.
Gelman also argued at the hearing that lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan committed an error when he said in his closing statements that Sandusky didn't take the stand at his own trial but did give an interview to sports reporter Bob Costas.
The superior court said in its opinion that the defense only objected to this after closing arguments were read and that only an objection was raised and not a motion for a mistrial. The superior court also said that the jurors were reminded numerous times Sandusky did not have to speak at his own trial.
Also, the superior court rejected Gelman's argument that the defense wasn't given enough time to prepare for trial.
Sandusky's defense asked to have the trial date moved back claiming they had been given too many documents to go through in such a short period of time. The justices argued that the trial court has the discretion to deny continuances and that the trial court did not commit any errors.
Sandusky's lead defense attorney at trial, Joe Amendola, said at a post-sentence motion hearing that he would not have changed his strategy, even after having had a chance to look at all the materials after the trial.
Gelman said he will be filing a full brief to a higher court within the next 30 days.
"We're disappointed but we'll pursue the next step to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Gelman said. "We'll be presenting the same things there."
The Office of the Attorney General released a brief statement on the court's decision.
"We are pleased with the decision of the Superior Court, as it affirms our position as to the strength and weight of the evidence in this matter," Joe Peters, Office of Attorney General spokesperson said. "Attorney General Kane is committed to continuing to seek justice for all victims of sexual abuse. "