Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University, returns to court on Oct. 29 in his effort to get a new trial.
Sandusky, 71, will seek to persuade Senior Judge John Cleland, who presided at the 2012 trial where the ex-coach was found guilty of sexually assaulting children, to allow him to take steps toward researching the competence of his lawyers and whether his rights were violated at trial.
“Mr. Sandusky's due process right to a fair trial was not only infringed, it was crushed under a stampede of vitriol, rage, and prejudice that mandate a new trial in this case,” wrote his lawyer, Alexander Lindsay, in court papers before the hearing in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Lindsay said Cleland should have delayed the Sandusky trial to let passions cool.
Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 charges of molesting 10 boys at Penn State and other locations over a 15-year period. He is serving 30 to 60 years in the state's "Supermax" prison in Waynesburg.
His original lawyers were Joseph Amendola of State College and Karl Rominger of Carlisle. Amendola could not be reached for comment on Oct. 28. Rominger was disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2014 for stealing another client’s money.
Sandusky will seek permission on Oct. 29 to research people connected to his case, including former state Attorney General Tom Corbett and Sara Ganim, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter who broke the Sandusky story in 2011 and won a Pulitzer Prize.
His lawyer contends Ganim wrote her story with illegally leaked grand jury information and that it kept the Sandusky investigation alive by prompting more alleged victims to come forward.
Lawyers for the attorney general were dismissive of Sandusky's claims in their legal response, saying he must prove "exceptional circumstances" to be allowed to conduct discovery for a post-conviction hearing.
"At this juncture, the burden rests squarely on Sandusky's shoulders to prove he’s entitled to discovery," they said.
(By David DeKok; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)