Originally written on Nittany Lions Den  |  Last updated 10/30/14

Sandusky waives right to preliminary hearing

The small town of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania was not built for this kind of event. Police stationed all around the courthouse, a police escort and a throng of media reporters and photographers staked out since three o'clock in the morning.

This is the day Jerry Sandusky entered court for his preliminary hearing. Sandusky, charged with 52 separate criminal charges of alleged sexual abuse of children. In all, 10 victims have been confirmed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office in a time span ranging from 1994 to 2009.

Sandusky arrived to the courthouse at 7:51 a.m. holding his wife's hand. Dottie Sandusky has spoken out publicly claiming her husband's innocence and calling the accusers liars. The Sandusky's were escorted by heavy police protection, with two police cars escorting the couple, riding in attorney Joe Amendola's SUV, to the court. A mere 37 minutes later, the court opened the long-awaited and highly scrutinized trial.

As court opened, it quickly ended with Sandusky waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. After vehemently declaring his

"We fully intend to put together the best possible defense and stay the course for four full quarters," Sandusky said as he exited the court. Amendola followed up by saying they intend to fight a fair case and said "We could not do that today."

Michael Bonni, counsel for Victim 1, said his client would "certainly like justice to be served in a way that is least stressful," for him, suggesting that if he could avoid having to testify it would be ideal for his client. According to Bonni, his client was ready to testify during the preliminary hearing if called to the stand.  Mark Costanzo, assistant to the Attorney General, said that as many as 11 victims were ready to testify on Tuesday and suggests that Sandusky's decision to waive the preliminary hearing will help the prosecution's case move forward.

"We don't get disappointed over things like this," said Costanzo. "He has rights and he has the right to waive those rights." Costanzo confirmed that the victims will not be required to testify in the trial of Sandusky and that an arraignment is scheduled for January 11, 2012. Sandusky's current bail conditions, which include house arrest, will remain.

 

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