Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

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Jerry Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky lost a bid Wednesday for a new trial and a second chance to convince a jury he is innocent of the child sexual abuse charges that landed him in state prison to serve a lengthy sentence.

Judge John Foradora denied Sandusky's requests for a new trial or for dismissal of charges.

The former Penn State assistant football coach's lawyers said they were disappointed and planned to appeal the decision to Superior Court.

"The court's decision is not the end of Jerry's case, it is only the closing of a chapter which we need to go through in the course of our endeavor to obtain a new trial, a reversal of his conviction, and ultimately his release and vindication," said defense attorney Al Lindsay.

Sandusky, 73, has consistently maintained he was wrongly convicted. He argued that he did not receive adequate representation at his 2012 trial and that prosecutors should have disclosed more details about changes to victims' stories.

"Although he was denied access to the victims' psychological records, Sandusky was permitted to call witnesses to explore whether the victims had undergone repressed memory therapy prior to trial, and he did explore that subject" with victims and other witnesses, Foradora wrote.

Foradora also rejected arguments that Sandusky's lawyers should not have let him waive a preliminary hearing, should not have allowed him to give a television interview after his arrest, and should have done more to challenge the identity of a young man described as Victim 2 in court records.

The judge said the bulk of Sandusky's claims lacked merit.

"Those that remain, whether they fail for want of prejudice or because (trial defense attorney Joe) Amendola's actions or failure to act were informed by a reasonable strategy, do not combine to call into question the overall effectiveness of the defense counsel provided or the legitimacy of the verdict," Foradora concluded.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said prosecutors have "achieved justice" for Sandusky's victims and are confident the convictions will stand.

"Hopefully, today's decision will allow the victims of Mr. Sandusky to live their lives knowing that this serial sexual abuser will remain behind bars," said Shapiro, a Democrat.

Sandusky has been serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Eight of his accusers testified at trial, describing abuse that ranged from grooming and fondling to violent sexual attacks.

The case, among the biggest scandals in college football history, led to major changes at Penn State and new state laws governing child abuse in Pennsylvania and other states.

Sandusky spent three decades at the university as an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno before retiring in 1999.

The decision follows previous rulings against Sandusky by the state's Supreme and Superior courts.

Foradora was brought in nearly a year ago after the trial judge, John Cleland, removed himself in response to sharp criticism by Sandusky's lawyers of a meeting that Cleland participated in before Sandusky waived a preliminary hearing in 2011.

Penn State's former president, Graham Spanier, and two other ex-administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, were sentenced to jail time earlier this year after Spanier was found guilty and the others pleaded guilty to child endangerment for their handling of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy. Spanier is free on bail while he appeals his conviction.

The scandal has cost Penn State more than $200 million in fines, settlements and other costs, and the football program was hit with significant NCAA penalties that were later dialed back.

Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier's suit against ex-FBI boss dismissed

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Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier's suit against ex-FBI boss dismissed

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier's criminal conviction means he is barred from pursuing defamation claims against former FBI director Louis Freeh, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Spanier, who said Freeh made false statements about him in a scathing 2012 report on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, was convicted in March of covering up a 2001 abuse allegation against the retired assistant football coach.

Citing Spanier's conviction, Freeh's lawyers argued the defamation suit should be dismissed. Senior Judge Robert Eby said in his ruling that lawyers for both sides agreed Spanier's conviction on a child endangerment count barred him from pursuing his civil claims.

Freeh, in a statement issued by his lawyer, said he was "not surprised that this frivolous and malicious claim has finally been dismissed."

Freeh concluded in his report for Penn State's board of trustees that Spanier, two other administrators and late football coach Joe Paterno concealed abuse allegations against Sandusky for more than a decade out of a desire to avoid bad publicity for the university.

Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz pleaded guilty to child endangerment and were sentenced to jail.

Spanier faces two months in jail but is free on bail while he appeals. He said in a statement Wednesday that he's confident he will win his appeal and will be able to resume his defamation case against Freeh.

Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison. He has maintained his innocence.

Penn State has paid out nearly a quarter-billion dollars in fines, settlements and other costs associated with the sex abuse scandal, and the football program suffered heavy NCAA sanctions. More than 100 of Paterno's victories were briefly erased from the record books.

Paterno's family and supporters hotly dispute Freeh's findings.

Report: Joe Paterno may have known of earlier Jerry Sandusky abuse claim

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Report: Joe Paterno may have known of earlier Jerry Sandusky abuse claim

More evidence has surfaced that late Penn State head coach Joe Paterno knew of at least one other allegation his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky may have been sexually abusing children, according to CNN.

A state police report obtained by CNN states when Mike McQueary reported an incident in a locker room between Sandusky and a young boy to Paterno in 2001, Paterno allegedly told McQueary his claim "was the second complaint of this nature he had received," per CNN.

According to the report, Paterno and McQueary did not discuss the other complaint. The police report was not written until after Sandusky's arrest in 2011, according to the report.

McQueary, a former Penn State coach, was the star witness in the case against Sandusky and his allegations led to Sandusky's 2012 conviction of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, with three victims coming after McQueary told Paterno about the incident in 2001.

Sandusky is serving his sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison and he has an appeal pending.

Paterno testified before a grand jury and in a published statement in 2012, he had "no inkling" about Sandusky until McQueary came to him in 2001. One day after he heard McQueary's allegation, Paterno reported it to his superiors.

However, court documents released in 2016 say that in 1976, Paterno told a teenage boy who reported being abused by Sandusky in a shower to him that he had "a football season to worry about."

Paterno died of lung cancer in January 2012 just two months after being fired by Penn State. The CNN report contradicts Paterno, his family and his supporters' denials the head coach had prior knowledge of Sandusky's abuse.

Last week, Penn State filed paperwork with the intention to sue The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded.

In June, three former Penn State administrators — including former president Graham B. Spanier — were sentenced to at least two months in prison for failing to report child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky.