Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sandusky lawyers may cite lack of preparation time in appeal

Officers led Jerry Sandusky out of the courtroom in handcuffs after jurors found him guilty on 45 counts. (Source: CNN) Officers led Jerry Sandusky out of the courtroom in handcuffs after jurors found him guilty on 45 counts. (Source: CNN)
Sandusky was admitted to the Centre County Correctional Facility after the verdict. (Source:CNN/Centre County Correctional Facility ) Sandusky was admitted to the Centre County Correctional Facility after the verdict. (Source:CNN/Centre County Correctional Facility )

BELLEFONTE, PA (RNN) - Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky could use timing as the basis for an appeal, feeling they were inadequately prepared to defend their client.

Just one day after Sandusky's conviction on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of minors, defense attorney Joe Amendola told the Associated Press that the time between Sandusky's arrest in November and the trial was not enough.

"We told the trial court, the Superior Court and the Supreme Court we were not prepared to proceed to trial in June due to numerous issues, and we asked to withdraw from the case for those reasons," Amendola said.

Lawyers for Sandusky cited several reasons they asked to be removed from the case, including the need to read numerous documents from a grand jury investigation and a defense team member's scheduling conflict, according to the Associated Press. A denied request for a mistrial could also play into the appeal. The request stemmed from part of Sandusky's interview with NBC's Bob Costas that was repeated at trial.

On Saturday, Amendola said the former Penn State assistant football coach has been placed on suicide watch following a guilty verdict in the child sexual abuse trial.

Amendola said his client had been placed in a separate area from other inmates for his own safety, according to CNN. Authorities plan to keep him there until he is sentenced.

Sandusky, 68, left the courthouse in handcuffs late Friday after a jury found him guilty on 45 counts in a scandal that shocked the university community and the nation.

As he was placed in the back of a police car, Sandusky refused to answer when asked if he had anything to say to the victims, CNN reported.

Defense co-council Karl Rominger made clear they planned to appeal the case. According to CNN, Rominger said there were rulings on "unique legal issues" that could be overturned.

The defense team for Sandusky said the verdict was "the expected outcome because of the overwhelming evidence.".

"I believe the jury acted genuinely, I believe the jury acted in good faith, I believe the jury acted on the evidence presented to it," Amendola said.

Prosecutors hailed the "great courage and strength" of the now-grown victims who unearthed "long buried memories of the shocking abuse they suffered" as children to testify against Sandusky.

"One of the recurring themes of the witness'  testimony was … 'Who would believe a kid?' and the answer to that question is 'We here in Bellefonte, PA, would believe a kid,'" said Attorney General Linda Kelly.

"As reflected by this verdict that we've all just heard, a jury of 12 people here in Bellefonte, PA most definitely would and did believe a kid."

Sandusky's sentencing, which will happen in approximately 90 days, will essentially "be a life sentence due to the length of it," Amendola said.

The verdict came after more than 20 hours of deliberations that began Thursday after each side gave its closing arguments.

The prosecution attempted to paint Sandusky as a predator who earned the trust of his alleged victims before taking advantage of them.

"What you should do is come out and say to the defendant that he molested and abused and give them back their souls," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joe McGettigan III said to the jury during closing arguments Thursday. "I give them to you. Acknowledge and give them justice."

In all, Sandusky was charged with 48 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 boys. The charges included:

  • Involuntary sexual intercourse (nine counts)
  • Corruption of a minor (10 counts)
  • Endangering a child's welfare (10 counts)
  • Unlawful contact with a minor (nine counts)
  • Indecent assault (nine counts)
  • Attempted indecent assault (one count)

The number of charges originally stood at 52, but Judge John Cleland ordered Thursday that all three charges related to "alleged victim 4" be dropped. Cleland explained that one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse duplicated another charge, and the testimony did not support the other charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

Prosecutors dropped the fourth charge - unlawful contact with a minor - earlier this week because the statute on which that charge was based wasn't in effect on the date of the alleged incident.

The accusers reportedly met the former Penn State football coach through his charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky established The Second Mile as a foundation that helped children from troubled or single-parent families.

The abuse allegedly occurred at university facilities, Sandusky's home and during trips to the team's road games in a 15-year span, dating back to 1994.

Sandusky's adopted son, Matt Sandusky, has said he was also a victim.

Andrew Shubin, Matt Sandusky's lawyer, confirmed that his client met with prosecutors earlier this week, according to a report by The Patriot-News.

"This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy. There will be no further comment," Shubin said in a statement.

The younger Sandusky, one of six adopted children, had been an ardent supporter of his father before coming forward with the allegations. He sat with the family in the courtroom while his father was on trial and reportedly visited with Jerry Sandusky at his home.

In an interview last November with Costas, Sandusky claimed he never had "inappropriate sexual contact" with young boys but acknowledged he had showered with them and engaged in other horseplay.

When Costas asked him if he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky replied, "Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, I – but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

As Penn State's defensive coordinator, Sandusky had been a fixture of legendary head football coach Joe Paterno's regime. But Sandusky retired in 1999, although he retained an "emeritus" title that allowed him access to football facilities.

In 1998, Penn State police officer Ronald Schreffler got a report from the mother of "Victim 6" after the 11-year-old boy told her he showered with Sandusky. Schreffler claimed he investigated and wanted to make an arrest, but the district attorney did not pursue charges.

During testimony, Schreffler said he listened in on multiple conversations between the mother and Sandusky. He said Sandusky admitted showering with Victim 6 and at least one other boy.

Schreffler also said Sandusky told the mother, "I wish I could ask for forgiveness. I know I will not get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary became a key witness for the prosecution after he claimed to see Sandusky with a 10- or 12-year-old boy in 2002. McQueary, then a graduate assistant, said he saw Sandusky in what he believed to be a sexual act with the boy in a locker room shower at the university.

McQueary said he told Paterno about what he saw the next morning. Paterno said he then spoke with athletic director Tim Curley and a school vice president, Gary Schultz.

No one from the school reported the incident to police or child protection agencies. Two weeks after the incident, Curley told McQueary that Sandusky's keys to the locker room had been taken away and they had informed Second Mile representatives, according to McQueary.

Curley and Schultz left the university after the allegations against Sandusky went public in November, and they were also charged with failing to contact the authorities. The Penn State Board of Trustees fired Paterno Nov. 9, as well as school president Graham Spanier.

Paterno admitted he "should have done more" after learning of the 2002 incident. He died Jan. 22 after a battle with lung cancer.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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SLIDESHOW: The Penn State abuse scandal Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was indicted on sex abuse charges in a shocking case that involves the alleged abuse of boys More>>

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