Judge denies request to push back Sandusky child sex-abuse trial

By Jon Campisi | Mar 2, 2012

The judge presiding over the upcoming trial of accused child molester Jerry Sandusky has denied a defense request to push back the start of the former Penn State assistant football coach’s trial.

On Feb. 27, Joseph Amendola, the attorney representing Sandusky, filed a motion seeking to push the beginning of the trial back from mid-May to mid-July.

Amendola cited a need to review additional records and materials that have yet to be provided by the commonwealth.

He also said it would take more time than originally envisioned to locate and interview witnesses identified in prosecutorial discovery materials.

In an order released Wednesday, Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Cleland said the previously agreed upon trial start will commence as originally scheduled.

“There is no assurance at this point that any delay of the trial to mid-July will not, in turn, give rise to subsequent issues prompting a request for still more delay,” the judicial order reads. “Delay has a way of begetting delay.

“Therefore, the postponement of a trial should be the last resort, and granted only after all other attempts to remedy the impediments to the conduct of a prompt trial have been exhausted.”

Amendola, in his motion, had blamed the difficulty in tracking down witnesses on the fact that prosecutors redacted identifying information in the materials it gave to the defense team.

In response to this complaint, Cleland ordered prosecutors to turn over to Amendola the addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses identified in the commonwealth’s discovery materials within one week.

Cleland said the only way he would consider any future requests to postpone the trial would be if there were jury selection problems, courtroom space issues or other “similar logistical complications.”

The trial is scheduled to begin May 14.

Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions football team, stands accused of sexually abusing 10 young men over a 15-year time period.

Sandusky met many of the boys who he allegedly assaulted at The Second Mile, an organization Sandusky founded to help disadvantaged youth.


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