Three-judge panel hears Jerry Sandusky's appeal

Sept. 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM
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WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- An attorney for Jerry Sandusky asked a Pennsylvania court to toss the former Penn State University football coach's conviction for sexually assaulting children.

The attorney, Norris Gelman, argued Tuesday before a three-judge Superior Court panel the judge in Sandusky's 2012 trial erred in failing to instruct jurors they should take into consideration the amount of time between when Sandusky's victims were assaulted and when they told authorities about it, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Sandusky, 69, was the longtime defensive coordinator at Penn State and ran the Second Mile, a charity for underprivileged children prosecutors said he used to find and groom his victims. He was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

"None of them, none of them made a prompt report," Gelman said. "And the time that elapsed between the molestation and the initial report is striking."

He said victims waited years -- sometimes as much as 14 or 16 years -- to report sexual abuse.

Senior Judge William Platt told Gelman it is not appropriate to instruct juries about lag time between abuse and reporting of abuse "where a child or a person otherwise incapable by mental infirmity of promptly reporting the incident is the alleged victim."

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Barker told the court Tuesday it is common for victims of childhood sexual abuse not to report it for a long time.

In court documents, Gelman wrote the court should have agreed to requests by Sandusky's trial attorney to delay proceeding so he could review thousands of pages of discovery handed over by prosecutors.

Sandusky was not in the Luzerne County Courthouse for Tuesday's argument. Gelman told the newspaper Sandusky was in restricted housing at a corrections facility in Greene.

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