The judge presiding over Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse case issued a gag order Monday, silencing the former Penn State assistant football coach and his unusually talkative attorneys.
In a filing in Centre County Court, Judge John M. Cleland barred prosecutors and Sandusky's defense team from publicly discussing the case in the run-up to his June trial.
The ruling also applies to anyone involved in the ongoing investigation or any potential witnesses that may be called to testify at trial.
Since Sandusky's arrest in November on child sex abuse charges, his attorney Joseph Amendola has been a constant and frequent voice in the media coverage of his client's case - at times raising eyebrows by offering Sandusky up for media interviews.
Days after the arrest, the former coach appeared in an interview with NBC's Bob Costas in which he proclaimed that he had never had sex with any of his accusers but often stumbled over questions. Asked whether he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky hesitated for several minutes before replying: "I enjoy their enthusiasm. I just have a good time with them."
The sit down was arranged by Amendola and was followed up later by an interview with The New York Times, in which Sandusky tried to explain the earlier statement.
"What in the world was this question?" he told the paper. "If I say, 'No, I'm not attracted to boys,' that's not the truth, because I'm attracted to young people - boys, girls . . ." He added later that he did not mean sexually.
After waiving his client's preliminary hearing in December, Amendola spent nearly three hours outside of the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte excoriating state investigators and alleging Sandusky's accusers had conspired together to build a case against him.
Cleland's gag order comes just more than a week after two conflicting psychological evaluations of one of Sandusky's alleged victims were leaked to NBC News and other media outlets. Prosecutors had argued that not even the former coach's defense team should have access to the files because releasing them would violate the rights of the purported victims.
One of the psychologists who interviewed a boy that Sandusky purportedly showered with in 1999 while on the Penn State campus concluded that the coach showed a "pedophile's pattern of building trust" with a victim. Another, however, saw nothing inappropriate and noted that coaches often showered with their college-aged athletes.
Sandusky remains confined to his home while he awaits a June 5 trial on more than 50 counts of child sex abuse. Prosecutors allege he molested at least 10 boys over a 15 year period.