Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has waived his preliminary hearing before his trial, the Associated Press reported live from the hearing this morning. The decision moves Sandusky straight to a trial, which would probably be around late summer or early fall, 2012.
Sandusky is being charged on over 50 counts of child-sex abuse. According to live tweets from the courtroom, prosecutors had 11 witnesses ready to testify today in the hearing, including some alleged victims of Sandusky’s abuse. Victim 4, who alleges Sandusky abused him during the trip to the 1999 Alamo Bowl, was expected to go first.
The move to waive the hearing was announced at the beginning of the event and meant the witnesses wouldn’t testify. Sandusky will remain on house arrest with an electronic monitor.
“We fully intend to put together the best possible defense and stay the course for four full quarters,” said Sandusky.
“I have a hard time believing this decision was made at 8:30 this morning,” attorney Slade McLaughlin said. “My gut feeling is we’ll have a plea deal.”
Additionally, Victim 4 released the following statement:
“This is the most difficult time of my life. I can’t put into words how unbearable this has been on my life, both physically and mentally. I can’t believe they put us through this only to waive the hearing.”
“Regardless of the decision to waive the hearing, nothing has changed. I still will stand my ground and testify the truth.”
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, said yesterday that there had been no talks with prosecutors about a plea deal.