published Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Few issues resolved at Sandusky pretrial hearing

  • photo
    Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, accompanied by his wife Dottie Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse today in Bellefonte. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — The judge overseeing former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sex-abuse case said he would rule later on a number of issues raised at a pretrial hearing Thursday, including a request to have the charges dismissed.

During a 20-minute hearing that Sandusky attended, defense attorney Joe Amendola asked Judge John Cleland — if he opts to deny that request — to deny it without prejudice so he can raise it again later.

Prosecutors said more information about Sandusky's conduct could result from an ongoing grand jury investigation. Cleland met with attorneys behind closed doors after the hearing to set deadlines for disclosure of other information before trial, including anything resulting from the grand jury investigation.

Amendola also told the court that the attorneys for two key witnesses — Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz — had informed him they would invoke the Fifth Amendment if called to testify at Sandusky's trial.

Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury and failing to report allegations of child abuse. Both have pleaded not guilty.

In a catch-all pretrial motion filed last month, Amendola argued some charges were not specific enough, there was not enough evidence in some cases, and the statute of limitations may have expired for others.

Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal counts for alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years. He is confined to home while awaiting trial and has repeatedly denied the charges.

Both sides agree that prospective jurors should be questioned individually, and sequestered during the trial now set to begin June 5.

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