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Judge denies new trial for Sandusky

(MCT) — PHILADELPHIA — A Centre County judge denied Jerry Sandusky a new trial Wednesday, ruling that the former Pennsylvania State University football coach had sufficient time to prepare his defense to charges that he sexually assaulted teenage boys.

Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse of minors in a case that drew international attention. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Sandusky, 68, argued that the denial of a trial delay amounted to a denial of his Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. Sandusky’s lawyers had asked for the delay to better evaluate the thousands of pages of discovery material received from the prosecutor.

Judge John M. Cleland, who presided at the trial, rejected that request and the appeal as well.

While the volume of discovery material was “vast,” Cleland wrote, “a post-trial review of the material … identified nothing that would have changed the defense trial strategy or would have been useful in advancing (Sandusky’s) defense.”

Sandusky’s motion for a new trial also alleged that Cleland erred in his jury instructions and by allowing the prosecutor, in his closing argument, to improperly mention Sandusky’s not testifying in his own defense. In his 27-page opinion, Cleland ruled that neither of those arguments had merit.

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