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Judge delays Sandusky sex-abuse trial by 3 weeks

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The judge overseeing former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse case on Thursday delayed the start of the trial by three weeks to early June, and prosecutors filed a lengthy court document that said the case should not be dismissed.

Judge John Cleland said the additional time was needed "to accommodate various logistical contingencies that have arisen," and the attorney general's office supported the postponement.

The prosecution's 21-page answer to a catch-all pretrial motion that Sandusky's lawyer submitted a week ago said the commonwealth had "broad latitude" to establish the dates of allegations in child sexual abuse cases. Sandusky has asked for more specifics about when the alleged crimes occurred.

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"Defendant cannot exploit the appalling breadth of his own criminal conduct by claiming it encompasses so long a period as to hamper his defense," wrote chief deputy attorney general Frank Fina.

The 68-year-old retired Penn State defensive coordinator faces 52 counts involving 10 alleged victims over 15 years. He remains confined to his home to await trial, and has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Cleland said a hearing remains scheduled for April 5 in Bellefonte to argue over the pretrial issues.

Fina wrote that the prosecution agreed with Sandusky's request that prospective jurors be questioned individually, and that the jury be sequestered at trial.

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