Capitals

Sandusky asks judge to overturn abuse convictions

Sandusky asks judge to overturn abuse convictions

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked a judge on Thursday to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions and grant him a new trial, claiming his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare and the statute of limitations for some charges had expired.

Sandusky's lawyers made the filing at the courthouse in Bellefonte where he was sentenced two weeks ago to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on Penn State's campus in State College.

``The defendant submits the court's sentence was excessive and tantamount ... to a life sentence, which the defendant submits is in violation of his rights,'' they wrote.

The 31-page set of motions, technically not appeals because they were filed with the trial judge, cover a wide range of assertions, including insufficient evidence, improper use of hearsay testimony and erroneous rulings from the bench.

More than a third of the document explores ways Sandusky believes the rapid pace of the case violated his right to due process of law, as he went from arrest to trial in just over seven months. His lawyers said they were swamped by documents from prosecutors, they lacked time to interview possible witnesses and an expert and two assistants were not available at trial.

The document said Judge John Cleland ruled improperly concerning the use of a computer-generated drawing of an accuser and issued incorrect jury instructions. It also raised issues about prosecutors' closing argument, the vagueness of the charges, the sequestration of jurors and the amount of restitution ordered.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the Sandusky filing was under review.

Sandusky remains in the county jail, awaiting a transfer to a state prison. Eight young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and oral and anal sex when they were boys.

Sandusky didn't testify at his trial but has consistently maintained his innocence in interviews and at sentencing.

Also Thursday, People magazine said an accuser identified in court papers as Victim 1, whose claims of being abused by Sandusky began the investigation in late 2008 and who testified against him at trial, gave an interview in which he spoke out publicly by name for the first time.

Aaron Fisher, 18, told the magazine he decided to come forward with a book to tell other victims it is better to tell people about abuse than remain silent. Fisher, who's expected to appear on ABC on Friday, said he and Sandusky's other victims ``had a very long battle to see justice done.''

Sandusky, 68, built a reputation as one of the country's premier defensive coaches while serving under head coach Joe Paterno, including two national championships. That image was shattered last year by his arrest.

The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA, college sports' governing body, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.

Two Penn State administrators were charged as a result of the investigation into the Sandusky allegations, accused of lying to the grand jury that investigated Sandusky and not reporting suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. Those two officials, athletic director Tim Curley, who is on administrative leave, and retired vice president Gary Schultz, await trial in January and maintain their innocence.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, who died in January, ousted president Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.

The late coach's family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, dispute Freeh's assertions.

---

Online:

Motions:http://bit.ly/T1Uupc

Quick Links

Barry Trotz finds contract he was looking for, expected to be named New York Islanders new head coach

Barry Trotz finds contract he was looking for, expected to be named New York Islanders new head coach

Barry Trotz did not remain unemployed for very long.

Trotz, who led the Capitals to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup title, resigned from his post less than a week after the team's championship parade in Washington, D.C.

But the former bench boss appears to be headed to New York to become the Islanders new head coach, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.

Trotz's contract was expected to expire at the end of the 2017-18 season, but upon winning the Stanley Cup, an automatic two-year extension was triggered, raising his $1.5 million yearly salary by $300,000. But Trotz wanted to be compensated as one of the top five coaches in the NHL.

While the terms of his deal have yet to be finalized, according to Elliotte Friedman, Trotz's deal could be in the 5-year, $20 million range.

With the Islanders, Trotz inherits a team that finished 35-37-10 last season under head coach Doug Weight, despite having John Tavares, one of the best centers in the NHL, and several young studs like Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, and Josh Ho-Sang. But Tavares enters the offseason as a free agent, and many teams will be looking to pay top-dollar for his services. 

Trotz will report to Lou Lamoriello, who was named the Islanders' president and general manager in May after spending three seasons in the same role with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

The Caps' Cup-winning roster is a lesson in building through the draft

usatsi_7971155.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

The Caps' Cup-winning roster is a lesson in building through the draft

Every year, the Stanley Cup-winning team shows the importance of building through the draft. This year, that team is the Washington Capitals.

With the NHL Draft starting on Friday, let’s break down the Capitals roster from the playoffs to see just how it was put together.

Acquired by the draft: Nicklas Backstrom, Madison Bowey, Travis Boy, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Shane Gersich, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker, Tom Wilson

Acquired as a free agent: Jay Beagle, Alex Chiasson, Brett Connolly, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Devante Smith-Pelly

Acquired by trade: Lars Eller, Jakub Jerabek, Michal Kempny, T.J. Oshie

The first thing to note is that the vast majority of Washington’s roster is made up of draft picks. Specifically, the majority of the Caps’ top six on offense, three of its top six defensemen and both goalies were drafted by the team.

Of the free agent signings, only two were big money players in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. In 2014, defense was a major question mark for the Caps and Brian MacLellan made a splash as the new general manager by signing both blue liners to big deals. The majority of the signings, however, are cheap, low risk and high reward players.

Finally, the trades include players who filled obvious needs. The Caps needed Oshie to shore up the top six, Eller was brought in to be the third line center, Kempny stepped in as a top-four defenseman and Jerabek was brought in for defensive depth.

So what does this show us?

First, the draft is absolutely critical to building a team’s core. True superstar players are hard to come by. Once a team gets one, they do everything they can to keep them. The draft is a team's first opportunity to acquire a certain player and, if they have superstar potential, sign them long-term. John Tavares this season looks headed to free agency and the buzz around him stems from the fact that he is very much the exception, not the rule. The base of the Caps’ Stanley Cup team was built by drafting star players like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Carlson, Holtby, etc.

This also shows the importance of the draft for depth. In the salary cap era, teams need to find enough cap room for their stars and their depth players. Having young players is absolutely critical because their low cap hit allows for the team to sign the expensive stars and make the important addition in free agency  or by trade. This is a formula that only works if those young players are productive as well.

Players like Vrana and Burakovsky, for example, played big roles in the playoff run, but also carried low cap hits.

So the Caps built a core through the draft and filled key roles with trades and mostly cheap free agent signings.

There is no formula for how to win a Stanley Cup, if there was everyone would do it, but this is about as close as you can come to one. A team has to draft very well and then build around those draft picks to be successful. You cannot hope to build simply through trades and free agency because of the cost. Trades always require sending an asset the other way and very often that asset turns out to be prospects or draft picks. Free agency, meanwhile, requires team overpay for top targets leading to serious cap trouble down the line.

There are always trades and free agent signings that prove to be important, but those are only pieces to a much large puzzle. To win a Stanley Cup, you have to build through the draft.

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE: