In a last-minute attempt to delay his trial on child-sex-abuse charges, Jerry Sandusky asked the state's highest court Friday to review a lower court's decision to proceed next week with jury selection.
Hours after a Superior Court panel declined a similar request from the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach, his attorney Karl Rominger appealed to a higher authority — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — to intervene.
The trial is to begin Tuesday in Bellefonte, Centre County.
Sandusky has denied charges that he sexually molested 10 boys over a period of 15 years. Since his initial court appearances in December, his attorney Joseph Amendola has maintained that the judge's six-month timetable for bringing the case to trial is too short.
Prosecutors have handed over thousands of pages of discovery material to review, several potential defense witnesses have not been tracked down, and some defense experts cannot be in court to testify on the scheduled dates, Amendola said this week in an earlier appeal for delay.
In his order insisting upon the Tuesday trial date, Judge John M. Cleland, drafted from McKean County to handle the case at the trial level, also mentioned a separate basis for Amendola's request tied to an ongoing grand jury investigation. Court filings outlining that probe were placed under seal at all court levels.
Barred from discussing the case by a judicial gag order, Amendola and prosecutors were not available for comment Friday.
Cleland has yet to rule on separate defense requests to toss out some of the 52 counts against Sandusky because they are too vague or impossible to prove in court, and a motion from several of Sandusky's accusers seeking approval to testify under pseudonyms at his trial.
In other developments Friday, a Dauphin County judge granted lawyers handling the perjury and failure-to-report cases of former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz more time to hand over discovery material.
Both men have denied allegations that they failed to notify authorities after learning of specific abuse accusations against Sandusky and then lied about their decision to grand jurors.
Their case is scheduled for trial next year.