STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) — A preliminary hearing that was expected to last all day and include testimony from the alleged victims in the child sexual abuse case against Jerry Sandusky instead only lasted minutes.
Sandusky, the former Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, walked into court this morning and waived his right to a preliminary hearing, but he vows to continue fighting the numerous charges against him.
Arriving early this morning at the courthouse in Centre County was District Justice Robert Scott from Westmoreland County. Meanwhile, Sandusky was accompanied by his wife, Dottie, and several family members and friends.
Hundreds of members of the media also converged on the courthouse after arriving in Bellefonte Monday in anticipation for what was expected to be a lengthy hearing.
But at 8:31 a.m. – just one minute into the hearing – the defense announced they would waive the hearing to court, which meant no testimony today. Instead, the case now goes to trial.
“Based on some of the talk being made by defense council over the last weeks, their decision – I would say – it’s surprising based on that,” said prosecutor Marc Constanzo. “However, based on our readiness, the strength of the case, I’m not that surprised.
“There were about 11 witnesses ready to testify,” he added. “I can’t tell you exactly how many were going to be called – I guess it depended on how it was going to go – but if you look at the presentments, you could pretty much figure out the lineup of witnesses pretty easily.”
The defense says the kind of cross examination they wanted to do wouldn’t have been allowed at the hearing.
“We would have heard a recitation of the allegations without realistically being able to cross examine the witnesses who testified as to their credibility,” said defense attorney Joe Amendola. “And as all of you know, credibility is going to be the main factor in this case. Credibility is a situation that exists at trial, it’s a measure which we can address at trial, but we could not have addressed today and had we attempted to, I suspect we would have been foreclosed from doing so.”
The attorneys for the Penn State administrators charged with perjury said nothing. Their clients’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday
Sandusky’s formal arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 11, but his lawyer says they’ve waived that too.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan and Harold Hayes will have live team coverage of the case throughout the day. Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.
MORE: KDKA Coverage Of The Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal
STORY: Sandusky Waives Preliminary Hearing
WARNING Contains Graphic Material: New Grand Jury Presentment (12/7)
WARNING Contains Graphic Material: Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment
AG, PSP Commissioner Statements: Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
LINK: Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
LINK: Penn State Nittany Lions