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Pa. judge nixes Sandusky's bid for new abuse trial

Pa. judge nixes Sandusky's bid for new abuse trial

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict on child sex abuse charges.

Judge John Cleland's 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.

``I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant's trial counsel failed to test the prosecution's case in a meaningful manner,'' Cleland wrote. ``The defendant's attorneys subjected the commonwealth's witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument.''

He also rejected post-sentencing motions regarding jury instructions, hearsay testimony and a comment by the prosecution during closing arguments that referred to the fact that Sandusky, who did not testify at trial, gave media interviews after he was arrested in November 2011.

Cleland said the prosecution's closing was not presented in a way that ``was either calculated to, or did, create in the jurors a fixed bias toward the defendant.''

Sandusky also argued that charges should have been thrown out because they were not sufficiently specific, but Cleland said the lack of specific dates did not prevent Sandusky from pursuing an alibi defense.

``The defendant has simply argued the offenses did not happen,'' Cleland said.

One of the jury instruction issues was whether Cleland should have talked to them about the amount of time it took for the victims to inform authorities that Sandusky had abused them.

``No one who has had the slightest experience with child sexual abuse or given a whit of thought to its dynamics could conclude that failure to make a prompt complaint, standing alone, is an accurate indicia of fabrication,'' Cleland said.

Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence for the sexual abuse of 10 boys, including violent attacks inside Penn State athletics facilities.

Sandusky lawyer Norris Gelman said Wednesday that while he had not read the decision, Cleland's ruling means an appeal will be filed to the mid-level Superior Court within the next 30 days.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a statement late Wednesday saying the judge's ruling was consistent with the position taken by prosecutors.

Also Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved a bill that aims to keep Penn State's $60 million fine to the NCAA over the Sandusky scandal within the state.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican whose district includes State College, would require such fines of at least $10 million to be deposited into a state-administered account, and be spent on Pennsylvania programs that address childhood sexual abuse.

``It makes sense that it should stay here to benefit organizations and the children of the commonwealth,'' said Corman, who also recently sued over the fine. He said the money ``could do an extraordinary amount of good right here in Pennsylvania.''

Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said the Legislature needed to act quickly.

``The victims were from Pennsylvania, the abuse was perpetrated in Pennsylvania, and the crimes were investigated and prosecuted by Pennsylvania authorities - not authorities from other states, the federal government or the NCAA,'' Schwank said.

In response, the NCAA issued a statement saying it was monitoring the legislation, ``including examining whether, if enacted, the proposed legislation would violate both the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions.''

It had previously said 25 percent of the annual grants would be reserved for Pennsylvania organizations.

Penn State agreed to the fine last summer as part of a deal that averted a potential shutdown of its football program by college sports' governing body. The university has already made the first of five $12 million payments.

Gov. Tom Corbett has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA over the sanctions.

5.19.18: Rick Horrow The Sports Professor talks with IndyCar icon Lynn St. James

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USA TODAY Sports

5.19.18: Rick Horrow The Sports Professor talks with IndyCar icon Lynn St. James

Rick Horrow The Sports Professor sits down for an exclusive interview with Lynn St James and more from the $1 trillion dollar business of sports in this week's 'Beyond The Scoreboard with Rick Horrow'

By Rick Horrow

Podcast Producer: Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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