Jerry Sandusky’s attorney Wednesday issued a statement indicating that the decision to waive Sandusky’s hearing was made at the last moment mainly to avoid the chance that his bail would be increased.
Centre County Court and Bellefonte officials had worked for weeks to prepare for the crowds and media attention that had been expected to surround Sandusky’s preliminary hearing on 52 counts charging him with sexual abuse of 10 children. The hearing was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Centre County Court.
Joseph Amendola issued a news release late Wednesday in which he said he returned a call to a prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office on Monday and was told that prosecutors were ready to proceed with the preliminary hearing and expected to call 11 witnesses.
“He also advised me he intended to request an increase in Jerry’s bail following the preliminary hearing,” Amendola said in the news release.
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Amendola said he contacted the prosecutor early Monday evening to ask whether they could reach an agreement under which Sandusky would waive his hearing in exchange for several promises, “the most important of which was an agreement that the (c)ommonwealth would not seek to increase Jerry’s bail prior to his trial.”
Amendola said the prosecutor called to accept the proposal around 7:30 p.m. Monday, and the two met at about 10 p.m. to finalize the agreement.
According to information Amendola provided Tuesday, prosecutors also agreed to provide him with early access to the discovery process, and guaranteed that if Sandusky is charged with more offenses, he’ll be allowed to turn himself in rather than be arrested.
The process culminated in Sandusky waiving his right to a hearing just as the proceeding was scheduled to get under way.