Last updated: October 02. 2013 11:55PM - 1461 Views
SHEENA DELAZIO sdelazio@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — The state Superior Court on Wednesday ruled convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky will not get a new trial.

In a 19-page ruling, the panel of three judges who heard the former Penn State assistant coach’s appeal during a special session at the Luzerne County Courthouse on Sept. 16, upheld Sandusky’s 30-to-60-year prison sentence.

Sandusky, 69, was convicted of molesting 10 boys in a case that led to the firing of longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and NCAA sanctions against Penn State’s football program.

Sandusky’s attorney said he would consider taking his claims to the state Supreme Court.

Sandusky’s attorney, Norris Gelmen, argued at the session held at the county courthouse that his client should be given a new trial based on several factors:

• All of the victims except one delayed reporting the alleged abuse for a number of years and jurors were not instructed properly on how to consider that evidence;

• Sandusky’s requests for continuances of the trial were denied three times and defense attorneys could not adequately prepare;

• The prosecutor in the case inappropriately commented on Sandusky’s choice not to testify at his trial.

In the high court’s ruling by judges Jack Panella, Sallie Updyke Mundy and William Platt, the judges wrote that Sandusky’s trial attorney argued “extensively” that the victims delayed in reporting and did so because the abuse “never occurred.”

The panel said presiding Judge John Cleland had instructed the jury on how to consider and factor in the victims’ testimony and Sandusky was not prejudiced by Cleland.

The court also said because Sandusky’s attorneys did not call for a mistrial when they originally objected to the prosecutor making mention to a Bob Costas interview Sandusky participated in and not testifying at his trial, they could not consider that claim.

The court also wrote that a judge has the discretion in granting or denying a continuance, and that Cleland’s explanations in why he would deny a continuance showcases “careful consideration.”

“Therefore, we can find no constitutional error, nor abuse of discretion in the denial of the continuance requests,” the judges wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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