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Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse trial will go forward next week, judge says

Jerry Sandusky at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. on Feb. 10, 2012.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. - A judge on Wednesday again denied a request from former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to delay the June 5 start of his child sex-abuse trial.

Pictures: Child-sex scandal rocks Penn State

Judge John Cleland, saying no trial date is perfect but that "some dates are better than others," said he would not give defense attorney Joe Amendola more time to prepare his case.

Cleland said starting jury selection next Tuesday would, on balance, protect Sandusky's right to a fair trial, the alleged victims' rights to their day in court, the state's obligation to prosecute promptly and the public's expectation of a swift proceeding.

Sandusky was charged in November and December with a total of 52 counts involving 10 boys he allegedly abused between 1994 and 2008.

According to the Daily Collegian, the attorneys for four of the alleged victims have asked the judge for protection from having their names released during trial.

The charges against Sandusky concern his relationships with boys he met through his charity for at-risk kids, The Second Mile, between 1994 and 2008. Prosecutors allege Sandusky groomed the boys for sexual abuse, offering gifts and access to the Penn State team in addition to companionship.

On May 25, The Second Mile announcedthat it was seeking court approval to shut down and transfer its programs.

At least some of the alleged abuse happened in the Penn State football team's facilities, prosecutors said. One of the alleged attacks was witnessed by former receivers coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant. Earlier this month, prosecutors revised the date of this alleged attack, telling the judge that although their initial indictment indicated it occurred in 2002, they now believe it occurred in 2001.

Details of the grand jury report touched off a massive scandal that engulfed the university, ultimately leading to the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno, since deceased, and the ouster of university President Graham Spanier. Two other university officials are charged with failing to report suspected abuse, and perjury related to their grand jury testimony.

Complete coverage of the Penn State sex abuse scandal on Crimesider