to rule on ex-Penn State coach Sandusky's bid for new trial
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[October 18, 2017]
By David DeKok
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A
Pennsylvania judge is due to rule on Wednesday whether former Penn
State University football coach Jerry Sandusky will receive a new
trial on charges that he sexually assaulted pre-teen and teenaged
boys for 15 years.
Sandusky, 73, was convicted in 2012 of exploiting his position in
the top-flight football program to sexually assault 10 boys and is
currently serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
Centre County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Foradora plans to
release his decision at noon ET (1600 GMT)on Wednesday on whether to
grant a new trial to the man whose case led to the firing of
longtime head coach Joe Paterno and prompted the state to toughen
its laws on child sex assault.
In his request for a new trial, Sandusky asserted that his original
trial attorneys botched his defense, citing 31 mistakes ranging from
allowing Sandusky to be interviewed by sports journalist Bob Costas
to failing to seek a mistrial after prosecutors in their closing
remarks referred to Sanduksy's decision not to testify at his trial.
Defendants in U.S. criminal trials are not required to testify and
often do not.
"One may ask how can an innocent person be convicted?" said current
Sandusky lawyer Alexander Lindsay in his final brief seeking a new
trial. "By any objective measure, Mr. Sandusky did not receive
adequate representation in this case."
Prosecutors for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, in their
own final brief, offered rebuttal for each of the 31 claims and
urged Foradora to uphold the conviction.
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Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky (C), a former assistant
football coach at Penn State University, leaves after his appeal
hearing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania,
U.S. on October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Pat Little/File Photo
Peter Goldberger, a lawyer in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, who specializes
in state and federal appeals and has no connection to the case, said
that even if Sandusky prevails on some of the counts, it would not
necessarily result in a new trial.
"Would the outcome have been affected by a better response?" he
said. "It has to be something more than a probability."
Sandusky is serving his sentence at the State Correctional
Institution at Somerset. He was moved there in February from the
state's "supermax" prison at Greene for what the Department of
Corrections said were routine reasons.
"He was glad to be moved," Lindsay said. "The conditions at Somerset
are much better."
(Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman)
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