Sandusky scandal: Judge recommends dismissal of final appeal

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A federal judge has recommended that the latest appeal by convicted child molester and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky be summarily dismissed as premature.

U.S. Intermediate District Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr. pointed out that an inmate cannot file a federal habeas corpus petition until there is a final judgment.

That didn’t happen with Sandusky because a restitution issue is still pending in Center County court, he noted in a report filed Thursday.

Sandusky, 78, was sentenced in 2019 to 30 to 60 years after the state’s Superior Court overturned his 2012 sentence of the same length.

Her conviction was upheld again last May, but the Superior Court returned the case to Center County Court to determine the justification for the $95,048 restitution Sandusky was ordered to pay.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes agreed with Sandusky that prosecutors failed to provide, at least in the record, the documented justification required to impose such an amount.

A hearing scheduled for Tuesday in Center County Court on the issue of restitution continued at the request of the parties.

Sandusky has 14 days to file an objection to Saporito’s recommendation before it goes to Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

If Mannion adopts the recommendation, it will not prevent Sandusky from filing a new motion when his sentence is final.

Saporito issued his recommendation before the state attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting Sandusky, had a chance to respond to his request.

Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 child sex charges, has firmly maintained his innocence.

A Center County jury found he sexually abused 10 boys at his youth charity, The Second Mile, between 1994 and 2008.

The basis of his habeas petition is claims of ineffective attorneys by trial attorneys Joseph Amendola and Karl Rominger.

The motion, filed April 2, cites numerous instances where Sandusky believes his attorneys have been ineffective.

The Sandusky scandal led to the football head coach Joe Paterno fired and Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Spanier was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child and spent two months in prison.

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