STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) — The latest court proceedings in the child sexual abuse case that rocked the Penn State community late last year ended this morning without a ruling.
The man at the center of the scandal, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, addressed the media outside of the courthouse following the hearing.
He offered a statement, but didn’t take any questions.
Among other things Sandusky told reporters: “When I have a wife who came home after visiting with grandchildren, or who is sitting there when grandchildren call on my birthday, and they ask to talk to me and she has to tell them that they can’t, I’m sensitive to that. Or when she comes home from visiting with grandchildren and tells me that one of them said that ‘the only thing that I want for my birthday is to be able to see pop,’ I’m sensitive to that. That’s why I’m here today.”
Meanwhile, a ruling on the issues of Sandusky’s bail conditions and whether a jury will be brought in from outside of Centre County could come sometime next week.
Much of the hearing focused on whether Sandusky should have more or fewer restrictions while under house arrest.
Sandusky filed a motion asking the judge to loosen his bail conditions, and allow him visits with his grandchildren; however, prosecutors want the opposite.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports that defense attorney Joe Amendola told the judge that Jill Sandusky, the ex-wife of one of Sandusky’s sons, opposes the visits. But Amendola presented letters from other grandchildren who claim to want to be able to visit Sandusky in person and communicate with him via email and text.
Since his arrest late last year on child sexual abuse charges, the retired Nittany Lions coach has been confined to his house and the immediate environs of his property.
Prosecutors say though they have received complaints that Sandusky was spotted recently on a warm day sitting on his back porch watching children at a nearby playground next to an elementary school.
They want Sandusky either kept indoors at home or in jail.
An agent for the Attorney General’s office testified this morning that a neighbor contacted him expressing concerns about Sandusky sitting on the porch, and he was also concerned about Sandusky’s own safety given threats made against him.
Meanwhile, the first issue on today’s agenda was a request from the defense for early release of the grand jury testimony. The defense also proposed guidelines for possible bail conditions.
Also, Thomas Young – who is Sandusky’s probation officer – was called to the stand to testify. He says that Sandusky has complied with terms of his probation.
Prosecutors are also asking for a jury to be brought in from outside of Centre County, arguing the relationship between the community and Penn State could make it difficult to find impartial jurors.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports that prosecutors say they are concerned about potential jurors who may have connections to Penn State, Sandusky’s Second Mile charity or to the alleged victims, their families or to those who agree with the sentiment that prosecutors “helped kill Joe Paterno through trumped up charges against Jerry Sandusky.”
However, Amendola is arguing that he has practiced law in Centre County for more than 30 years and has never had difficulty finding a fair and impartial jury.
Sandusky took the stand around 11:20 a.m. Senior Judge John Cleland asked him if he agreed with his attorney that he wants to keep a Centre County jury. Sandusky said that he trusts his lawyer’s judgment.
The hearing started at 10 a.m. and ended just before 11:30 a.m.
The judge is hoping for a trial in May.
Stay with KDKA for full reports from Harold Hayes on this developing story.
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