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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012

Sandusky to seek suit dismissal

Judge rules that prosecutors can't be forced to give timeline

Jerry Sandusky is scheduled to stand trial in mid-May on sexual assault accusations. Jerry Sandusky is scheduled to stand trial in mid-May on sexual assault accusations.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- An attorney for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky said he will ask for the dismissal of sexual assault charges against his client after a judge ruled that prosecutors could not be forced to provide more specific information about the timing of the alleged crimes.

Attorney Joe Amendola said the years-long intervals during which prosecutors say Mr. Sandusky assaulted children and teenagers are too broad to give his client an opportunity to defend himself.

"He would have to literally cover almost every day of the period involved in order to establish his innocence, which is impossible to do," Mr. Amendola said in a phone interview.

Mr. Amendola said he will file the motion to dismiss next week as part of a broader retrial motion.

Judge John Cleland on Tuesday dismissed a request by Mr. Amendola that prosecutors give more specific information about when they say the assaults took place, saying an order would not produce the desired information.

During a hearing on Monday in a Centre County court, senior deputy attorney general Joseph E. McGettigan III said the accusers are unable to say exactly when they were assaulted because of their youth at the time, the trauma of the incidents, and the passage of years since.

Prosecutors had provided specific dates for certain alleged assaults but not others.

Judge Cleland cited the state's response in his order.

"Any order directing the Commonwealth to supply details would be a futile act since the Commonwealth has explained it cannot supply the details requested," he wrote.

Mr. Sandusky is scheduled to stand trial in mid-May on 52 criminal counts.

He has maintained his innocence.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Karen Langley is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.

Contact Karen Langley at: klangley@post-gazette.com, or 717-787-2141.

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