Bellefonte, PA – Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky can have contact with most of his grandchildren and will have a local jury when his child sex abuse trial begins in May.
Sandusky is under electronic monitoring pending trial on 52 counts of felony and misdemeanor sexual offenses against children. He has denied the charges that he systematically abused children, using his Second Mile charity to groom potential victims.
Judge John M. Cleland also ruled Monday that prosecutors must turn over the time, date and location of any offense, as well as the exact age of the alleged victim on the date of such offense. The judge denied a defense motion requesting prosecutors to specify the particular acts alleged against Sandusky.
Prosecutors had asked for conditions of Sandusky's bail to be modified, preventing him from having visitation rights from his grandchildren and preventing him from having visits from other adults.
Judge Cleland denied that motion with conditions, saying Sandusky's grandchildren can visit, with the exception of three who are the subject of an ongoing child custody litigation. Also, one of the grandchildren's parents must be present during visitations.
Sandusky can also have adult visitors, but must provide a list of up to 12 who will then be subject to approval by officials overseeing the electronic monitoring program. He can also leave his home, with 36 hours advance notice, to assist his defense team in trial preparations.
Prosecutors had also asked for a jury to be selected from out of the Centre County area, a motion Judge Cleland denied.
"It is certainly obvious, however, that jury selection will present its challenges and if, after a reasonable attempt it is apparent that a jury cannot be selected within a reasonable time, then I will reconsider this ruling," Judge Cleland wrote.
Sandusky's defense team was unable to sway the judge into forcing prosecutors to disclose the names, addresses and dates of birth of witnesses. They were also denied an early release of grand jury testimony.