In less than one month, Judge John Cleland will determine Jerry Sandusky’s jail sentence.
According to local lawyers and one of Sandusky’s defense attorneys, Karl Rominger, he may have a good shot at getting an appeal.
The former Penn State defensive coordinator will be sentenced immediately following a hearing on Oct. 9, according to a court order issued Monday morning.
The hearing will determine whether Sandusky is considered a sexually violent predator, as previously reported.
The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, according to court documents.
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, wrote in an email that Sandusky might make a statement at the hearing.
Rominger also said that given the convictions, it would be difficult for the defense team to defeat the qualifications for Sandusky to be considered a sexually violent predator.
But the “rookie mistake” that prosecutor Joe McGettigan made in closing statements was arguing to the jury that Sandusky could have taken the stand and further explained various situations, including his interview with Bob Costas, said Matt McClenahen, a defense attorney with McClenahen Law Firm in State College.
“It was absolutely brazen and inappropriate,” he said. “There’s no excuse for what he did in closing.”
Rominger said he objected to McGettigan’s statement in court, but Cleland dismissed his objection. Rominger’s objection, however, is preserved on the record in court, he added, which could help in the appeal process.
Amendola said Sandusky does plan to file post sentence motions — or appeal his case — after his sentencing, though he cannot do so until the judge makes an official ruling, Amendola wrote.
Any documents or pre-sentencing material must be submitted by Oct. 5, according to court documents. A sentencing conference will also take place for both the prosecution and defense at 2 p.m. on Oct. 8.
Following the sentencing, Amendola wrote that Cleland will have up to four months to decide on post sentence motions before the defense can appeal to the Superior Court “on issues the trial court decided which were adverse to Jerry’s defense.”
Sandusky will be sentenced to the State Correctional Institution in Camp Hill, Rominger said, as it serves as the diagnostic center for all male prisoners following sentencing.
He will then be moved to another center, which is currently unknown, Amendola said, while his appeal is pending.
As for sentencing, McClenahen said Sandusky would most likely receive a “symbolic sentence,” because it is one he would never be able to completely fulfill. Some of Sandusky’s convictions carry a minimum sentence of anywhere from 10 to 20 years, he added.
Both Rominger and Amendola said Sandusky remains in good spirits, though Rominger said he believes Sandusky is getting restless.
“He’s basically had his hands tied since June,” Rominger said.
Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse in June. He maintains his innocence.