As promised, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has filed an appeal, asking for a new trial. Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sex abuse. They motion also argues that the sentence of 30-to-60 years is "excessive" and should be modified.
Sandusky's defense team is arguing that the evidence was insufficient and that Sandusky's right to due process was violated because they did not have enough time to properly prepare his case. The motion for appeal will be ruled on by Judge John Cleland, who presided over the trial and sentencing.
Sandusky was sentenced on October 9 to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 boys, and some of the abuse took place on school property while Sandusky was working for legendary head coach Joe Paterno.
In the 30-page court document, the Sandusky team made the following claims in asking for a new trial:
- Insufficient evidence to prove that Sandusky engaged in deviate sexual intercourse or related sexual offenses with the victims, corrupted anyone's morals or endangered anyone's welfare.
- The court was wrong to allow hearsay testimony about the abuse of a boy in the shower of a Penn State locker room.
- The court erred when it did not drop charges that "were so general and nonspecific" that Sandusky could not adequately defend himself.
- Prosecutors should have given Sandusky's team more of the discovery information it asked for
- Sandusky's team needed more time to go through reems of documents it was receiving even in the days before the trial began
- They missed out on using a sexual behavior consultant, jury consultant and other experts who either needed more time to review the case or had scheduling conflicts
- Jurors should have been sequestered
- Prosecutors should not have been allowed to call Sandusky a pedophile and sexual predator during closing arguments
The Sandusky sex scandal not only tarnished the reputation of one of the most respected programs in college football, it was the undoing of Paterno, who was fired and accused of not doing enough with reports of Sandusky's abuse.
Penn State's former president, vice president and athletic director were also criticized in an internal investigation for the way in which the school handled reports of Sandusky's abuse. The Freeh Report said the administrators and Paterno chose to protect the image of the school rather than the children.
In an exclusive interview in the days before his sentencing hearing, lead defense attorney Joe Amendola told NBC10 that they were anxious to get the appeals process started, which they could not do until Sandusky was formally sentenced.
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