Pennsylvania attorney general says Sandusky got fair trial

June 25 Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:49pm IST

June 25 (Reuters) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky received a fair trial and his lawyers' complaints of inadequate preparation time and an inaccurate version of a television interview shown to jurors should not be grounds for an appeal, Pennsylvania's attorney general said on Monday.

Those points are likely to be among the appellate issues raised by lawyers for Sandusky, who was found guilty on Friday on 45 child sex abuse charges in a case that rocked U.S. college football.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said the former coach received a fair trial, and the commonwealth expects to prevail on any appeal.

"As far as the timing, the judge made it clear from the beginning to all the parties that he intended to move this case along quickly," Kelly said on CNN.

"We were anxious to have this case brought to a conclusion so that the defendant who was not in custody during the process ... so we could move to have his bond revoked."

Sandusky's attorneys unsuccessfully sought a mistrial before his conviction on the grounds that prosecutors showed jurors an inaccurate version of a Bob Costas interview with the former coach that aired last November on various NBC shows.

The faulty version, which was broadcast on the "Today" show, contained an erroneous repetition of a key question and answer about whether Sandusky was sexually attracted to young boys. Sandusky's lawyers contend the repetition made it appear to jurors that Sandusky was stonewalling.

On Monday, Kelly stood by the decision to play the interview for jurors.

"That was an interview that was conducted in the presence of his attorney, and we felt that it was significant and important enough to play that to the jury to see the defendant's demeanor and to show consciousness of guilt," Kelly told CNN. "But we also believed that this case really turned on the testimony of the victims."

Sandusky, 68, faced 48 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period, sometimes at Penn State facilities. The jury convicted him of 25 felonies and 20 misdemeanors.

In an interview on NBC's Today show, Kelly would not speculate on whether Sandusky would face additional charges in light of new accusations by his adopted son, 33-year-old Matt Sandusky, that he, too, was sexually abused by the former coach.

Jerry Sandusky faces more than 400 years in prison when he is sentenced.

"Our prosecution team will ask the judge to fashion a sentence that reflects the horrific acts that Mr. Sandusky committed, to take into consideration the number of victims that are involved here, and the fact that he really does represent a clear and present danger to the community," Kelly told NBC.

(Writing By Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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