Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Penn State who was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually molesting boys, will not get a new trial, an appellate panel in Pennsylvania ruled on Wednesday.
A three-judge panel of the Superior Court upheld the conviction of Sandusky on 45 criminal counts and backed the 30-year minimum sentence handed down in the celebrated 2012 trial that shook the world of collegiate sports. The case is expected to be appealed to higher tribunals.
Norris Gelman, Sandusky’s attorney, had appealed the conviction and sentence, arguing that the defense was not given enough time to prepare for the case. He also contended that trial Judge John M. Cleland had erred in portions of his charge to the jurors who decided Sandusky’s fate.
In its 18-page ruling, the panel unanimously rejected the grounds for appeal. The opinion by Judge Jack Panella said that Cleland had acted carefully and within his authority.
Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence at a state prison in southwestern Pennsylvania. He is likely to die in prison.
Gelman has said he plans to ask the state Supreme Court to review the case.
Sandusky was accused of befriending disadvantaged boys from the Second Mile charity that the former coach had founded. He would take the boys to football games and other sporting events.
The former coach, who helped the school rise to a football power under head coach Joe Paterno, was convicted of molesting 10 boys between 1994 and 2009. Some of the incidents were at the school’s football facility on the Penn State campus, according to testimony at the trial.
Former university President Graham Spanier and two of his top aides face criminal charges that they failed to act on Sandusky's crimes to protect the school’s reputation.