Sandusky jailed on new child sex abuse charges
Thu, 08 Dec 2011 13:06:34 GMT —
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) " Jerry Sandusky's arrest on additional child sex-abuse charges presents him with a new challenge " how to assist his lawyer from behind bars in what was already a complicated case to defend.
"You really prefer to have your client available to you at all times," said William Manifesto, a longtime Pittsburgh defense attorney not involved in the case. "The most difficult thing for counsel, for anyone who's in jail, is the ability to communicate."
Sandusky spent Wednesday night behind bars after new child sex abuse charges were filed against him based on the claims of two new accusers, including one who says he screamed in vain for help while Sandusky attacked him in a basement bedroom.
Sex-crime cases that have more alleged victims " and prosecutors added two to Sandusky's case with the latest charges " tend to be stronger, said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.
"Victims do often gather courage from the fact that others have come forward and it is not unusual for new victims to surface when multiple sex offense violations have been filed and become public," Stedman said.
The latest accusers are the ninth and 10th alleged victims described in grand jury reports that claim Sandusky befriended and then molested boys he met through his Second Mile charity for troubled youth. A grand jury document released Wednesday echoed an earlier report, saying Sandusky gave the boys gifts while also making sexual advances toward them.
One of the new accusers said Sandusky kept him in a basement bedroom during overnight visits to Sandusky's home, forced him to perform sex acts and assaulted him.
"The victim testified that on at least one occasion he screamed for help, knowing that Sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him," the grand jury report said.
Sandusky was wide-eyed and quiet during the arraignment in a cramped district magistrate's office outside the small town of Bellefonte. He could not immediately pay $250,000 cash bail and was driven to Centre County jail by agents from the state attorney general's office. He was still in custody as of Thursday morning.
He had been arrested at his home, handcuffed behind his back and driven to court wearing a blue and white Penn State wrestling jacket and matching sweat pants.
After the hearing, Sandusky avoided eye contact and did not speak to about two dozen reporters and photographers before authorities placed him in the back of a silver sedan that would shuttle him to jail.
The new alleged victims, who contacted officials after Sandusky's initial arrest on Nov. 5, told the grand jury they met Sandusky through the charity he founded in 1977.
"I took it at first he was just a nice guy, like he went to church every weekend, his kids would come over every once in a while and stuff. And after a while, like, he got used to me and stuff and started getting further and further, wanting " to touchy feely," the ninth accuser, who is now 18, told the grand jury.
He said he was 11 or 12 when he first met Sandusky in 2004 and Sandusky took him to Penn State football games and gave him gifts and money, and sexually assaulted him over a period of years, according to the grand jury report.
The 10th accuser told the grand jury he was referred by a counselor to The Second Mile in 1997, when he was 10 and experiencing problems at home.
He also attended Penn State games with Sandusky, spent time at Sandusky's house, and was subjected to "wrestling sessions" in the basement of the home that led to Sandusky performing a sex act on the boy, the report said. The accuser also detailed being molested in a pool on the Penn State campus, and a time when Sandusky allegedly exposed himself in a car while driving and requested that the boy perform a sex act on him.
The boy refused, and after Sandusky expressed his displeasure, the boy told his foster mother he didn't want to see Sandusky any more, the report said.
The grand jury report did not say whether the boys ever told anyone else about the assaults before testifying.
Asked what he told Sandusky during the arraignment, lawyer Joseph Amendola said he warned his client to be prepared for things to get worse.
"Jerry's scratching his head saying 'What's next?'" Amendola said. "I said, 'Don't ask that question. Don't ask, 'Can it get worse?' because it can. We just have to be prepared for whatever else comes down the road. And we will be."
Asked how Sandusky is dealing with the accusations, Amendola said, "How would you take it if you were facing the kind of charges he was facing and your life's work was helping kids? You would be devastated."
Amendola said he hoped to have Sandusky out of jail Thursday. If he does, Sandusky will have to wear an electronic monitor, which Amendola said would be the equivalent to house arrest.
Sandusky also was to have no contact with alleged victims or witnesses in the case and have no unsupervised contact with minors.
Prosecutors had sought $1 million in bail.
The bail and conditions ordered Wednesday by Senior Magisterial District Judge Robert E. Scott were in contrast to the $100,000 unsecured bail Sandusky was granted last month.
Sandusky now faces criminal accusations from 10 young men and 50 charges stemming from alleged assaults over 15 years on boys in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere. The scandal has provoked strong criticism that Penn State officials didn't do enough to stop the alleged assaults. The scandal prompted the ouster of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and the school's longtime president, Graham Spanier.
The new charges against Sandusky include two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and unlawful contact with a minor, all first-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. He was also charged Wednesday with three lesser felonies and three misdemeanors.
Sandusky, 67, has said repeatedly that he is innocent and has vowed to fight the case. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them. Amendola said Wednesday that he had not yet read the latest grand jury report but had no reason to doubt Sandusky's claims of innocence.
A preliminary hearing on the latest charges was scheduled for Tuesday, the same day as a hearing on the previous charges.
The new charges may enhance the judge's view of the seriousness of the case, and protect against the chance some accusers wear down in court Tuesday.
"There's strength in numbers, so, yes, it is a help to the prosecution. If one victim's case isn't good, they'll have the others to fall back on," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor.
The added charges may also encourage Sandusky to consider plea talks, she said.
"For the defense, it comes to the point where there are just too many cases to fight," she said. "It may be, if they're looking at plea offers, it gets him in the mind(set) ... to resolve this case without a full-blown trial."
Manifesto said the additional victims could be used by prosecutors to bolster people who may be reluctant to testify.
"That's the kind of rhetoric that you would use as a prosecutor to get a witness who is reluctant to testify for whatever reason, such as embarrassment," Manifesto said. "'You're not the only one out there,' or 'You will be more credible, the more people who come forward.'"
Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., and Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report.Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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