The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 13, 2012

Judge: Jerry Sandusky can see grandkids and have a local jury

HARRISBURG — The judge in Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial ruled today that his jury will consist of people who live in and near State College and gave the former Penn State assistant coach permission to have visits or other contact with most of his grandchildren.

Judge John Cleland also ordered the state attorney general's office to disclose the ages of purported victims at the time the crimes are said to have occurred, as well as the times, dates and locations of when prosecutors said they happened.

Cleland encouraged state prosecutors to work with the judge who supervised a grand jury that investigated Sandusky to figure out how to release grand jury transcripts to Sandusky's lawyers "on a schedule which balances the appropriate interests of maintaining the secrecy of the grand jury while still assuring the trial can proceed without unnecessary disruption."

Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He has denied the allegations.

Prosecutors had asked to have Sandusky, who is on home confinement as he awaits trial, confined indoors after fielding concerns by neighbors about the safety of children, particularly at an elementary school behind Sandusky's house. Cleland denied that motion.

"No evidence was presented that at any time the defendant made any effort to contact any of the children by signaling or calling to them, or that he made any gestures directed toward them, or that he acted in any inappropriate way whatsoever," Cleland wrote.

The 68-year-old Sandusky was granted the right to see adult visitors, as well as his grandchildren — under their parents' supervision — except for three grandchildren who are the subject of custody litigation. Cleland deferred visits with those children to the judge overseeing the custody case.

Cleland has set a tentative trial date for mid-May.

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