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Sandusky judge says no to 2-month delay

Wed 29th, February 2012

Bellefonte, PA (Sports Network) - A request by Jerry Sandusky's defense to delay the start of his child-sex abuse trial by two months has been denied by the judge overseeing the case.

Sandusky's defense sought to delay jury selection in the trial -- scheduled to begin on May 14 -- until mid-July.

But Judge John M. Cleland denied the request despite it going unopposed by the commonwealth.

He wrote that "postponement of a trial should be the last resort, and granted only after all other attempts to remedy the impediments to the conduct of a prompt trial have been exhausted."

The trial date was set in January and the court has worked backwards from it to establish other scheduling deadlines. The defense sought a delay to have more time to locate and interview witnesses, issue subpoenas, hire experts and accommodate witnesses who won't be available to testify in May.

But Cleland said there is no assurance that delaying the trial will only raise other issues that would require further postponements.

"Delay has a way of begetting delay," he wrote.

Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator, is charged with 52 counts of felony and misdemeanor sexual offenses against children. He has denied the charges.

Cleland granted a request by the defense for more time to file an omnibus pretrial motion that was due Thursday. The defense will have until March 22.

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