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HARRISBURG, Pa. – Jerry Sandusky plans to take the stand in a fresh chance to prove his claim he was wrongly convicted four years ago of sexually abusing 10 boys.
The former Penn State assistant football coach is expected to be in a Pennsylvania courthouse Friday for the start of a three-day Post-Conviction Relief Act hearing that aims to overturn his 45-count conviction.
Among the issues that Sandusky is expected to address is his decision not to testify on his own behalf at trial.
He's also arguing his case was tainted by the prosecutor's closing argument, a decision to have him give a TV interview after his arrest and news reports about the secret grand jury investigation before it concluded.
Although he didn't testify at the trial, Sandusky did speak during his sentencing three months later, denying he committed "these alleged disgusting acts" and hoping that "something good will come out of this."
"I've forgiven, I've been forgiven," he said at sentencing. "I've comforted others, I've been comforted. I've been kissed by dogs, I've been bit by dogs. I've conformed, I've also been different. I've been me. I've been loved, I've been hated."
He testified by video link during a January 2014 hearing about his ultimately successful effort to have his $4,900-a-month pension reinstated.
In a filing this week, his attorneys said Sandusky will describe conversations with his attorneys concerning the identity of the young man called Victim 2 in court records, and about allegations of abuse made at the time of trial, but outside court, by his adopted son Matt Sandusky.
Sandusky, his lawyers wrote, "will testify regarding each accuser and deny that he committed the crimes alleged. ... Mr. Sandusky will submit that he did not start The Second Mile in order to groom victims."
Eight young men testified they were abused by Sandusky, who spent decades at Penn State under head coach Joe Paterno before his retirement in 1999.
Sandusky founded a charity for at-risk children where prosecutors say he recruited victims.
"Mr. Sandusky will submit that he did not start The Second Mile in order to groom victims," his lawyers wrote. "He will testify regarding how often the accusers would stay at his home and if they stayed with other children."
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said prosecutors consider Sandusky's post-conviction claims to be meritless and are ready for his testimony.
Sandusky previously lost direct appeals to the state's Supreme and Superior courts. The Friday hearing falls under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act and is confined to newly discovered evidence, constitutional violations and ineffective lawyering.
The hearing is expected to continue on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23. If Sandusky is successful his charges could be dismissed, but that's less likely than the chance the judge could order a new trial.
Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in Greene State Prison, where authorities have kept him largely segregated from the prison's general population.