State Supreme Court won’t hear Sandusky conviction appeal

mcarroll@centredaily.comApril 2, 2014 

Jerry Sandusky won’t get to argue before the state’s highest court that his conviction for sexually abusing children should be reversed.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday not to consider an appeal from the founder of The Second Mile and a former Penn State assistant football coach. The justices didn’t provide a reason in the short, one-sentence order.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 for molesting 10 young boys, and is serving a 30-year minimum sentence in solitary confinement at a state prison in Greene County.

His defense attorney, Norris Gelman, could not immediately be reached for comment. It wasn’t clear whether Sandusky, 70, who maintains his innocence, will pursue other avenues for appeal after the rejection Wednesday.

The state attorney general, whose office prosecuted the case, praised the ruling.

“We are very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision,” Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a statement. “Protecting Pennsylvania’s children is one of my top priorities and I remain committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual abuse.”

Gelman took the case to the Supreme Court after the state Superior Court upheld Sandusky’s conviction.

At the time, the defense argued that Sandusky’s trial attorneys were rushed and couldn’t properly prepare, and that Judge John Cleland was wrong on several matters during the proceedings.

In the appeal, Gelman referenced instructions Cleland issued to the jurors, saying the judge should have told them they could consider that the young men who testified against Sandusky did not make a prompt report that they were abused. Gelman also said the judge erred when he told the jurors to consider Sandusky’s character with the evidence the prosecution had presented.

The state Attorney General’s Office argued that Sandusky’s lawyer didn’t show any “special and important reasons” the state’s highest court should consider the appeal.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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