Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky
has appeared in court for the first time since he was sent to
prison for sexually abusing young boys, looking thinner but
upbeat while his lawyers appealed his conviction.
Sandusky, 68, dressed in a red prison uniform, smiled at
about a dozen supporters present in the courtroom, including
his wife Dottie.
"How are you guys?" he asked his wife and the others before
court officers guided him to the defence table in the same
courthouse where he was convicted nearly seven months ago,
just a few miles from the Penn State campus in State College,
Sandusky was convicted in June of molesting 10 boys over a
15-year period in a scandal that rocked college sports and
focused national attention on child sex abuse.
He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, effectively a
In seeking to overturn that conviction, Sandusky's lawyers
argued to trial Judge John Cleland that they were not given
enough time to prepare for the trial, which tarnished the
legacy of late legendary Penn State football coach Joe
Paterno and led the NCAA to impose a raft of unprecedented
penalties on the university.
Joseph Amendola, one of Sandusky's trial attorneys, took the
witness stand and told Cleland that ahead of the trial he
received more than 12,000 pages of documents and hundreds of
pictures to review.
Cleland did not issue a decision on Sandusky's request for
his conviction to be tossed out.
In March 2012, Cleland delayed the start date of the trial by
three weeks but later denied another motion by Amendola to
further delay the trial. Pennsylvania appeals courts rejected
an appeal of Cleland's ruling.
A grand jury in November charged the university's former
president, Graham Spanier, with participating in a
"conspiracy of silence" to cover up Sandusky's behaviour.
Two other officials, Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired
Vice President Gary Schultz, also face new charges of child
endangerment, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
They were charged in November 2011 with failure to report
suspected abuse and perjury, and both have pleaded not
guilty. Schultz and Curley face trial later this month.
Trustees fired Spanier and the revered head football coach
Paterno in November 2011 in the wake of the charges against
Sandusky. Paterno died in January 2012 of lung cancer.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing
body for college sports, slapped Penn State with a $US60
million fine and voided the 14 seasons of football victories
that Sandusky coached. At least three of Sandusky's victims
have sued Penn State.
Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett sued
the NCAA over its sanctions.