Sandusky building an appeal, looking for more freedom

By Brittany Horn

Daily Collegian, Penn State U. via UWIRE

Sandusky building an appeal, looking for more freedom
It’s been less than two months since Jerry Sandusky stood before the court and professed his innocence after being convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse in late June.But the fate of the former assistant Penn State football coach had already been determined, as presiding Judge John Cleland sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison, a sentence he is now serving in a maximum security prison in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Now, Sandusky is working as closely with his attorneys as the prison permits, planning the most feasible chance at an appeal he has, said his defense attorney Karl Rominger after meeting with Sandusky Friday afternoon.

The former coach is regaining his spirit, Rominger said, though he currently spends 23 hours of his day in solitary confinement. Sandusky is permitted one hour a day outside of his cell for exercise.

Rominger said the team is also looking to improve Sandusky’s current restrictions of his imprisonment. Sandusky is technically considered a “level two” prisoner who is being held at a “level five” facility, he said.

Typically, a level two inmate has access to a payphone, lives in general population and can hold a job, Rominger said. But due to the facility Sandusky is being housed in, the prison wouldn’t be able to make these accommodations even if Sandusky were granted such access, he said.

While the defense is not looking to challenge where Sandusky is being held, Rominger said they are hoping to work with the current prison to make the living situation more ideal for the former coach.

In the meantime, Sandusky is continuing to build an appeal with his lawyers, Rominger said.

The defense filed post-sentence motions — the first step toward an appeal process — shortly after Sandusky’s sentencing and is now in the process of filing a brief or document in support of those motions.

Most recently, prosecutors filed to have the entire appeal dismissed, claiming that Rominger missed the extension deadline, as previously reported. Rominger said the missing documents were a result of “calendaring error” and was corrected.

The court has yet to rule on any of the motions. Sandusky continues to maintain his innocence.

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