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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.

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

The Woj bombs are gonna start dropping a little earlier this year. 

The NBA and the NBA Players Association announced Friday that the two parties have agreed to move up the start of free agency by six hours. Teams can now begin negotiating with free agents at 6 p.m. ET on June 30 instead of having to wait until 12:01 ET on July 1. 

The move ensures fans -- and eternally grateful media members -- don't have to stay up until midnight waiting for the madness that is NBA free agency to begin. As Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports put it, this is "quite possibly the best thing to happen with NBA free agency in years!" 

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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

The Mystics reached their first WNBA Finals in franchise history in 2018 but were swept by the Seattle Storm in the championship series.

Elle Delle Donne -- who was recently named in WNBA.com's GM survey as the favorite to win league MVP -- is back for her third season in Washington.

Though she is out for the opener, Delle Donne believes the team is ready to make another run at the title thanks to the return of All-Star forward Emma Meesseman. 

Earlier Friday, the Mystics announced their final 12-woman roster for the 2019 season. Delle Donne and guard Kristi Toliver headline a team that includes nine returners from the 2018 team, as well as Meesseman, who played for the Mystics from 2013-17 but sat out in 2018 to focus on playing for the Belgian national team. The final roster spots went to WNBA rookies Kiara Leslie and Kim Mestdagh.

According to ESPN, the Mystics, Los Angeles Sparks and Las Vegas Aces are the favorites to win the championship this season.

The WNBA's 23rd season kicks of Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET when the Atlanta Dream host the Dallas Wings.

MYSTICS VS. SUN HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun, Regular Season Game 1

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: You can live stream on WNBA's League Pass website by signing up for a free trial

NBC Sports Washington will be broadcasting 10 Mystics home games during the 2019 WNBA season. For the full regular season schedule, click here.

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