Sandusky Granted Hearing to Prove Claims
Jerry Sandusky has been granted a hearing to prove allegations central to his arguments for a new trial.
Specially-presiding Judge John Cleland of Potter County, who has been overseeing the case since Sandusky’s trial in 2012, signed an order on Wednesday, granting a hearing for 9 a.m. on May 20 in Centre County Court.
Sandusky, a former Penn State football assistant coach and founder of the Second Mile charity for at-risk youth, was convicted on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse following his arrest in 2011. Currently serving a 30-60 year sentence, Sandusky has maintained his innocence and is seeking a new trial under the Post-Conviction Relief Act.
Cleland’s order gives Sandusky and his attorneys Al Lindsay and Andrew Salemme an opportunity to prove three issues, as the court decides whether he should qualify for a new trial.
Those issues include:
– Whether prosecutor Joseph McGettigan was referring to Victim 2 — the individual that former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary alleged he saw being abused by Sandusky in a locker room shower — when during his closing arguments McGettigan referred to victims “known only to God;” whether McGettigan was lying because he knew the identity of the man described as Victim 2; and whether Sandusky trial defense attorney Joe Amendola knew the identity of Victim 2.
Sandusky’s attorneys have claimed in court filings that a man came forward to identify himself as having been the boy in the shower and that he has said no misconduct had occurred.
– Whether grand jury supervising judge Barry Feudale and the state attorney general’s office withheld evidence from the grand jury investigation that led to Sandusky’s arrest.
– Whether the attorney general’s office leaked secret grand jury information to Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim with the purpose of finding additional victims.
Sandusky was in court on Monday as Lindsay made arguments that he should be granted an evidentiary hearing for a possible new trial. The main issues Cleland questioned Lindsay about was the substance of potential witness testimony.
In court filings, Lindsay and Salemme provided a list of witnesses and their expected testimony for an evidentiary hearing but noted that the majority were hostile witnesses and their exact testimony could not predicted.
In court on Monday, Cleland addressed several of the issues raised in petitions for a new trial and said the facts put forth weren’t necessarily corroborated by the witness certifications, since the defense couldn’t say with certainty how exactly the witnesses would testify.
“We’ve attempted to interview adverse witnesses and they have refused,” Lindsay countered. “Our only opportunity is to subpoena them here to testify.”