Sandusky judge grants extension for defense post-trial motions' brief

By Jon Campisi | Nov 20, 2012

The Pennsylvania judge who sentenced convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky to three-

to-six decades in prison has agreed to allow defense attorneys more time by which to file court papers outlining their arguments for Sandusky’s post-trial motions.

On Nov. 12, Sandusky’s defense team, made up of trial lawyer Joseph Amendola and appellate attorney Norris E. Gelman, filed a motion for an extension of time by which to file their brief in support of their post-trial motions.

The lawyers wrote that they needed additional time due to the “vast amount of material” to review from discovery through to the trial, and because Gelman, who joined the defense team after sentencing had already been handed down, was recovering from a heart attack and open-heart surgery and was unable to get back to work until mid October.

In a Nov. 16 order, Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Cleland gave defense counsel until Dec. 14 to file their brief in support of the post-sentencing motions, which seek both an overturned conviction and the ordering of a new trial.

The order further cancels the Dec. 10 date on which a hearing for arguments on the post-sentencing motions was originally scheduled.

Arguments on the motions will now be held on Jan. 10 at 9:30 a.m. in the Centre County Courthouse.

Sandusky, who is in his late 60s, was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex-abuse following a two-week jury trial in Centre County back in June.

He had formerly worked as the defensive coordinator for the Penn State University Nittany Lions.

The sex-abuse scandal rocked both the Penn State community and the nation.

It led to the ouster of former university president Graham Spanier and former iconic Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, who died shortly after his firing.

It also led to criminal charges that are currently pending against two other former high-up Penn State officials, former university Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley.

Michael McQueary, a former assistant football coach at the university, is suing Penn State for defamation and wrongful termination in connection with his cooperation with authorities during the sex-abuse case against Sandusky.

Penn State attorneys have since asked the court to stay the civil suit until the resolution of the criminal charges against Schultz and Curley.

Those two figures are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

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