After waiving his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday on child sex-abuse charges, Jerry Sandusky might have his day in court. Lawyers on both sides of the molestation case against the former Penn State assistant coach say he will go before a jury.
Sandusky, who stands accused of sexually abusing 10 young boys over 15 years, will be arraigned on those charges Jan. 11.
Marc Costanzo, senior deputy attorney general, said the waived hearing means Sandusky will go on to a trial.
Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola said his legal team is still ready to defend their client.
Tuesday’s “waiver has nothing to do with conceding anything. There have been no plea negotiations, there will be no plea negotiations,” Amendola said. “This is a fight to the death, this is the fight of Jerry Sandusky’s life.”
Some questioned why the preliminary hearing would be called off at the last-minute without some kind of plea deal being struck. That thought was flatly denied by the state attorney general’s office.
Costanzo said 11 witnesses were expected to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, but having it waived still advances the prosecution of the case.
“This development, we believe, provides maximum protection to most importantly the victims in this case. It avoids their having to testify for a second time. They will, of course, testify (at the) trial of the case,” he said. “And it will allow us to promptly advance the prosecution of this case to a just conclusion.”
Sandusky won’t attend his arraignment, but he has entered a not-guilty plea.
He “remains on house arrest with electronic monitoring, with the strict prohibitions with regard to his conduct and contact with minors, victims, or witnesses in the case,” said Costanzo.