Sandusky’s Waiving Preliminary Hearing Seen as Plea-Deal Prelude


When ex-Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky waived a preliminary hearing this week, for prosecutors the move is a clear sign the defense is preparing for a plea deal, says the Christian Science Monitor. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Sandusky, the 50 counts of abusing 10 boys, and his missteps in recent media interviews, the case will not be open and shut. “I know there's this perception that this is a slam-dunk case for the prosecutors. But there are icebergs out there that can sink this case,” says Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago lawyer.

Sandusky says he is innocent of charges he sexually abused boys over a 15-year window. He remains under house arrest on $250,000 bond and is wearing an ankle monitor. A preliminary hearing is meant for the judge to determine probable cause. Despite that being very likely, locking in victim testimony under oath would have provided an advantage for the defense, which could then wield it against the alleged victims in a trial, says Andrew Pollis, a law professor at Case Western University. Why is Sandusky giving media interviews? “There are very, very few lawyers who aren't scratching their heads and wondering why this is happening. The cardinal rule of criminal defense is not to let the client talk.”

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