Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked a judge on Thursday to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions and grant him a new trial, claiming his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare and the statute of limitations for some charges had expired.
Sandusky’s lawyers filed the appeal at the courthouse in Bellefonte where he was sentenced two weeks ago to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on Penn State’s campus in State College. They say there wasn’t enough evidence to support convictions.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said the Sandusky filing was under review.
Sandusky remains in the county jail, awaiting a transfer to a state prison to serve time for 45 criminal counts. Eight young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and oral and anal sex when they were boys.
Sandusky didn’t testify at his trial but has consistently maintained his innocence, and his attorneys have repeatedly said they felt they were rushed to trial and swamped by a mountain of documents prosecutors turned over in the seven-plus months between his arrest in November and the June trial.
Sandusky, 68, built a national reputation as one of the country’s premier defensive coaches while serving under head coach Joe Paterno, including two national championships. That image was shattered last year by his arrest.
The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down Paterno and the university’s president and leading the NCAA, college sports’ governing body, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university’s football program.
Two Penn State administrators were charged as a result of the investigation into the Sandusky allegations, accused of lying to the grand jury that investigated Sandusky and not reporting suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. Those two officials, athletic director Tim Curley, who is on administrative leave, and retired vice president Gary Schultz, await trial in January and maintain their innocence.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees to conduct an investigation into the university’s handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, who died in January, ousted president Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.
The late coach’s family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, have hotly disputed Freeh’s assertions.