Sandusky judge denies last-minute defense attempt to have charges dismissed

By Jon Campisi | Jun 11, 2012

The judge presiding over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case on Friday denied a motion to dismiss charges that had earlier been filed by the former Penn State assistant football coach’s defense attorney.

The judicial order came just days before the planned start of trial.

Opening arguments in the child molestation case are set to begin today at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas in small Bellefonte, Pa.

Judge John M. Cleland didn’t go into specifics in his one-page order as to why he was denying the motions to dismiss certain, if not all, counts of child sex-abuse against Sandusky.

In the order, Cleland also denied a petition for writ of habeas corpus that had been filed by defense attorney Joseph Amendola.

Sandusky’s lawyer sought dismissal of the charges on his contention that state prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence in the case to convict the 68-year-old for defensive coordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Cleland last week also denied a request by attorneys for the alleged victims to use pseudonyms during the trial, a criminal proceeding that is expected to last about a month.

The lawyers had sought to have their clients’ identities shielded during the court proceedings due to the stigma attached to victims of sexual abuse.

The accusers are now adults, but the attorneys had argued that they could still be negatively impacted by public airing of the sex-abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of Sandusky while they were minors.

Sandusky was arrested last November following a grand jury presentment. The Centre County, Pa. resident was charged with 50 counts of child sex-abuse relating to his alleged abuse of 10 underage boys during a 15-year-time period.

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