BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A judge on Wednesday denied a request from former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to delay the June 5 start of his child sex-abuse trial.
Judge John Cleland, saying no trial date is perfect but that “some dates are better than others,” said he would not give defense attorney Joe Amendola more time to prepare his defense.
Cleland said starting jury selection on Tuesday would, on balance, protect Sandusky’s right to a fair trial, the alleged victims’ rights to their day in court, the state’s obligation to prosecute promptly and the public’s expectation of a swift proceeding.
Sandusky was charged in November and December with a total of 52 counts involving 10 boys he allegedly abused between 1994 and 2008.
The charges against Sandusky concern his relationships with boys he met through his charity for at-risk kids, The Second Mile, between 1994 and 2008. Prosecutors allege Sandusky groomed the boys for sexual abuse, offering gifts and access to the team in addition to companionship.
At least some of the alleged abuse happened in the Penn State football team’s facilities, prosecutors said. One of the alleged attacks was witnessed by former receivers coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant.
Details of the grand jury report touched of a massive scandal that engulfed the university, ultimately leading to the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and the ouster of university President Graham Spanier. Two other university officials are charged with failing to report suspected abuse and perjury related to their grand jury testimony.