Sandusky prosecutor seeks non-county jury

Feb. 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in the child sex abuse case against ex-Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked that a non-Centre County, Pa., jury hear the case.

Prosecutors in a motion filed Tuesday told the court that the overwhelming amount of pretrial publicity made it impossible to strike an impartial jury pool in Centre County, where State College, home to Penn State University, is located, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"The university and Centre County are inextricably intertwined both philosophically and economically," Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan said in the filing. "Prospective jurors … would face a Gordian Knot of conscious and even subconscious conflicts and difficulties."

Sandusky's attorney said they would contest the request.

"We feel there's no better place than Centre County from which to select fair-minded individuals to sit as jurors in Jerry's case," lawyer Joseph Amendola said Tuesday in an e-mail to the Inquirer.

Common Pleas Court Judge John Cleland is expected to rule on the motion Feb. 10, when he also is expected to consider modifying Sandusky's bail conditions.

Sandusky, a defensive coordinator under Joe Paterno, is accused of molesting at least 10 boys he met through his charity for underprivileged children. A grand jury presentment unsealed in November indicated many of the alleged incidents occurred on the Penn State campus.

Paterno, who was fired in November for what administrators determined was an inadequate response to allegations involving Sandusky, died Jan. 22. He was hospitalized in December after breaking his pelvis in a fall in his home and was hospitalized again in January when complications developed as he underwent treatment for lung cancer.

Amendola has asked the court to allow Sandusky to visit his 11 grandchildren as long as at least one parent was supervising. Sandusky is confined to his home and is barred from having contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Prosecutors also told the judge they would turn over to the defense the names of the 10 alleged victims by Friday.

University athletic director Tim Curley and a former vice president Gary Schultz were charged with lying under oath about what they knew concerning the allegations against Sandusky.

Sandusky, Curley and Schultz have pleaded not guilty to charges filed against them.

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