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Judge Sets Trial Date For Jerry Sandusky In Abuse Case

Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, pauses while speaking to the media at the Centre County Courthouse.
Alex Brandon

A Pennsylvania judge set a tentative trial date of May 14 for Jerry Sandusky, who is facing 50 counts of sex abuse of 10 boys.

Sandusky was in court in part to ask Judge John Cleland for greater freedom while he awaits a trial.

The AP reports:

"The attorney general's office wants him confined to the inside of his home while on house arrest awaiting trial, while the defense asked that he be allowed out occasionally to help with the case.

"Defense attorney Joe Amendola's request that Sandusky, 68, be permitted to see his grandchildren drew strenuous opposition from prosecutors.

"'This home was not safe for children for 15 years, and it's not safe for children now,' said state prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach."

The judge adjourned but promised a decision on that as well a decision on whether to assign an out-of-county jury to the case soon.

The Patriot-News reports that Sandusky testified today saying that he is on medication but that it doesn't "affect his ability to think clearly."

The Patriot-Newsadds that prosecutors want Sandusky's house arrest to be harsher. They don't want Sandusky to be allowed on the porch, because his house borders an elementary school playground.

"A Lemont Elementary School employee testified today that children have seen Sandusky from inside their classroom and during recess, which causes disruption," reports the Patriot-News.

The AP reports that Sandusky addressed the media after the hearing. He said:

""Our home has been open for 27 years to all kinds of people,' Sandusky said.

"With his wife, Dottie, at his side, Sandusky said he had associated with thousands of young people over the years, before prosecutors filed sex abuse charge against him in November. 'All of a sudden these people turn on me. It's been difficult for me to understand.'

""Now I can't take my dog on my deck and throw out biscuits to him,' he said."

The AP has made this video of the press conference available:

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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