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Judge Pauses Jerry Sandusky’s Federal Appeal

A federal judge has put on hold Jerry Sandusky’s latest appeal of his 2012 child sexual abuse convictions.

U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion last week stayed the appeal in the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.

The order agreed with a report and recommendation issued earlier in the month by District Judge Joseph Saporito, who wrote that the federal court could not yet have jurisdiction because the judgment on Sandusky’s state appeal process is not yet finalized.

In 2019, Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the trial judge improperly applied mandatory minimums in sentencing and remanded the case for resentencing. Though a new judge used a different sentencing structure that resulted in the same prison term, a restitution issue remains unresolved.

The resentencing included an additional $95,047.88 in restitution for reasons that were not made clear in the court record. Last May, Superior Court again remanded the case to address the reason for the restitution. A hearing is scheduled for later this month.

As a result, Sandusky’s post-conviction sentencing is not completed, and he cannot yet file a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

While Saporito recommended dismissing Sandusky’s petition, Mannion issued a stay. Mannion wrote that because only the restitution was in question, it was not entirely clear if the clock has started to run on Sandusky’s one-year statute of limitations to file an appeal.

Sandusky claims numerous instances of ineffective counsel by trial attorneys Joseph Amendola and Karl Rominger before and during his June 2012 trial.

The 78-year-old former Penn State football assistant coach and Second Mile charity founder was convicted on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. That sentence was reaffirmed on appeal in 2019.

He has maintained his innocence and is asking for the federal district court to order an evidentiary hearing on his petition, vacate his conviction and sentence and order a new trial.

Sandusky is currently serving his prison sentence at SCI-Laurel Highlands.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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