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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.

Summer Guide: The top pizza places in and around Washington, D.C.

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NBC Sports Washington

Summer Guide: The top pizza places in and around Washington, D.C.

Last summer, NBC Sports Washington put together guides that highlighted the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and the FIFA World Cup. Earlier this summer we provided some spots around Nationals Park and Camden Yards too. 

With summer 2019 halfway over, now is the time to highlight some go-to spots for pizza in and around the district.

Here are, in no particular order, some of the top pizzerias in and around Washington, D.C.

Etto, 1541 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005

  • Logan Circle
  • With veggies specials and pizza alike, the leisurely atmosphere at Etto provides a needed respite from the hustle of D.C.
  • Check out the roasted cauliflower pizza, or the seasonal zucchini and squash blossoms pie, two non-traditional menu options

 

Wiseguy Pizza, 300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Ste 1, Washington, DC 20001

  • Near the Judiciary Square Metro stop.
  • Wiseguy owner Tony Erol perfected a New York-style pizza without making it chock-full of grease, ensuring a crispy slice. 
  • Between the expected Buffalo chicken pizza and the unexpected paneer tikka pie, Wiseguy's menu appeals to many palates. 

 

Menomale Pizza Napoletana, 2711 12th St. NE, Washington, DC 20018

  • Between the Rhode Island Ave and Brookland Metro stops.
  • Neapolitan pizzas are Menomale's specialty, but with stellar crust the pizzeria also produces delicious calzones and sandwiches.
  • Take a look at the menu, which houses all the tasty carb-loaded food, plus a surprising range of craft beers. 

 

2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria, 3715 Macomb St. NW, Washington DC 20016

  • Near Washington National Cathedral
  • 2 Amys' wood-fired pizzas and family-friendly setting combine for an authentic atmosphere.
  • The menu offers some less-known pies, like the Etna 2.0, which in part features fried eggplant. 

 

All-Purpose Riverfront, 79 Potomac Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • Navy Yard, across from Nationals Park
  • With All-Purpose, chef Mike Friedman revamps classic Italian-American flavors, like his garlic knots coated with a fonduta reminiscent of alfredo. 
  • Head to happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 p.m. for drink and food specials, like the Little Caesar or the Crispy Chicken Wings. 

 

Ghibellina, 1610 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

  • Logan Circle
  • Does $10 pizza happy hour sound appealing? Then head to Ghibellina from 3-6:30 p.m. (or 4-6:30 pm. Monday's).
  • Between pizzas, specialty cocktails and other Italian cuisine, the restaurant and its authentic atmosphere is sure to please. 

 

OUTSIDE OF D.C.

Pupatella, 5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

  • On the outskirts of Downtown Arlington
  • After growing from a food cart in Ballston, Virginia, Pupatella has grown to a reputable source for classic pizza pies. 
  • Check out the red or white pies, which include the Mimosa and Buffala Bianza pizzas. 

 

Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, 12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878

  • Out past Rockville, Maryland
  • While a bit of a trek from inside the district, the variety of pizzas including the Smoky Meatball is sure to make the trip worthwhile. 

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This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

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Isaiah Thomas Instagram

This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

One of the best parts of the NBA offseason, behind free-agency and the draft, has to be the open run's that go on all summer long. These sessions give an opportunity for NBA players to team up with each other, while also playing alongside high school, college, and overseas talent. 

Some new Wizards teammates, Isaiah Thomas and Thomas Bryant, made their way to the Rico Hines private run in Los Angeles, California to establish some chemistry before training camp opens in late September.  

As seen above, IT is no stranger to sharing the sugar as he finished top 20 in the league in assists per game (5.9) in 2016, the last season he was fully healthy. While TB is one of the most efficient rim-runners in the league, leading the NBA in two-point field goal percentage (68.5) last season. 

Could this be a preview of what to expect come season's tip? Wizards fans sure hope so. 

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