Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky stated his request for loosened bail restrictions that would enable visits from his grandchildren during a Friday hearing in Bellefonte, Pa.
Sandusky, who is awaiting trial on 52 criminal counts for alleged child sexual abuse, is currently under house arrest.
But while defense attorney Joe Amendola requested that his client be permitted to see his grandchildren, prosecutors told Judge John Cleland they feel Sandusky should be confined to the inside his home until his trial. Cleland tentatively set the trial date for May 14.
“This home was not safe for children for 15 years, and it’s not safe for children now,” said state prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach.
Sandusky addressed reporters outside the courthouse, reiterating his appeal for more freedom of movement and the ability to receive visitors.
“Our home has been open for 27 years to all kinds of people — hundreds of people who have stayed there, more than that who have visited there,” the 68-year-old said. “I’ve associated with thousands of young people over years, and now all of a sudden, because of allegations and perceptions that have tried to be created of me, I can’t take my dog on our deck and throw out biscuits to him.”
According to the state attorney general’s office, Sandusky’s neighbors have complained that he has been seen watching children at a nearby school. One neighbor captured video footage of Sandusky brushing his dog on his deck.
Sandusky was called to testify regarding the defense’s opposition to the prosecution’s request that the trial be moved out of the county. The prosecution has sited the widespread media attention the case generated and the close ties between Centre County residents and Penn State University as reasons to move the trial. By opposing a move, Sandusky would not be allowed to appeal a conviction on the grounds of a biased jury.
“I don’t believe that would matter, relative to any place (else) in this state,” he told Cleland.
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