Sandusky attorney asks for trial continuance, dismissal of sex-abuse charges

By Jon Campisi | Mar 22, 2012

The attorney representing accused child molester Jerry Sandusky filed a motion with the Centre County Court of Common Pleas March 22 asking the judge in the case to dismiss some of the sex-abuse charges against his client and push back the trial start date.

In a lengthy motion filed with the court, defense attorney Joseph Amendola said some of the charges filed against the former Penn State assistant football coach aren’t specific enough, others falls outside of the statute of limitations, and some of the evidence won’t be able to be sufficiently presented by prosecutors at the upcoming trial.

Amendola’s motion says that Sandusky’s due process rights will be violated should the trial commence as scheduled because the defense cannot “adequately prepare and present a defense” to certain charges being faced by Sandusky because of their “lack of specificity.”

“The Commonwealth has failed to provide the dates of the commission of [certain] alleged offenses with reasonable certainty and with sufficient particularity in order for the Defendant to adequately prepare his defense, and has advised the Court and the Defendant it cannot provide more specific information and details as to times, dates and locations of the aforementioned alleged offenses, thus violating the notions of fundamental fairness embedded in our legal process,” the motion reads.

The motion highlights a handful of counts in the grand jury presentment relating to three of the 10 alleged victims in particular, stating that those particular charges are not specific enough.

The motion to dismiss also states that the statute of limitations on a number of counts appears to have expired.

“Setting aside the fact that the Defendant has maintained his innocence in regard to these charges, the Defendant submits the statute of limitations should have run prior to the Defendant’s arrest on November 5, 2011 in regard to those offenses dealing with” all but one of the victims, the motion states.

The motions says that the aforementioned alleged offenses occurred before the state legislature expanded the statute of limitations on these types of crimes.

In his motion, Amendola also asks Judge John M. Cleland to push back the start of the trial so he can more adequately prepare for Sandusky’s defense.

Jury selection is supposed to get underway May 14.

The motion states that the pre-trial discovery process is ongoing, and Amendola expects to be making requests for additional discovery materials as the days and weeks progress.

The motion for continuance also cites the need to question a number of potential witnesses in the case, as well as the need to further prepare several expert witnesses who are expected to be testifying on behalf of the defendant at trial.

Also contained within the pre-trial motion is a motion to suppress certain evidence in the case, such as the search warrant used to search Sandusky’s Centre County, Pa. house back on June 21, 2011, as well as recorded and/or oral communications that investigators intercepted between Sandusky and some of his alleged victims.

The motion says Sandusky was unaware of and did not consent to the interceptions.

“The Commonwealth’s interception of the alleged conversations between the Defendant and [the accusers/alleged victims] were made without the issuance of a search warrant based upon probable cause in violation of the constitutional proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures,” the motion states.

Sandusky was formerly the defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He was arrested late last year following a grand jury presentment that outlined various alleged abuses of 10 victims dating over a 15-year time period.

Sandusky has maintained his innocence.


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