Sandusky notifies trial court he plans to appeal
HARRISBURG – Jerry Sandusky’s attorneys have notified his trial judge that he wants a state appeals court to overturn his convictions for molesting boys.
Attorneys for the former Penn State assistant football coach filed a pair of appeal notices Thursday that indicate Sandusky wants the state Superior Court to take up his convictions on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. The notices were filed in the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, the site of his three-week trial last summer.
Last month, the trial judge rejected Sandusky’s post-sentencing motions, including an argument that his attorneys lacked sufficient time to prepare for trial.
Judge John Cleland also rejected 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.
In the appeals notices, Sandusky’s defense attorneys did not elaborate on the issues he plans to raise on appeal. But lead appellate counsel Norris Gelman said he would make many of the same arguments that Cleland rejected in January.
“The publicity has been bad,” Gelman said. “All we can do is hope that it will not affect or infect the judges of the Superior Court.”
He said the likely next step will be for Cleland to order Sandusky’s lawyers to file a document that lists their intended claims. After that, Cleland would write an opinion about the case and certify the trial record to Superior Court. Gelman would then get two or three months to file a brief to the appeals court.
The attorney general’s office had no immediate comment on the notices.
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. He maintains his innocence.