Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will be allowed to see his grandchildren while he awaits his trial for 50 counts of child molestation in Centre County, Pa., a judge ruled today.
Judge John Cleland eased Sandusky’s bail terms ahead of the trial, which is scheduled for May 14. At a hearing last week, Sandusky and his attorneys petitioned the court to ease his bail conditions, while the prosecution asked for stricter conditions, including confining Sandusky inside of his home. They expressed concerns that he was using his back porch to leer at local school children, which the defense dismissed.
As part of the ruling today, Cleland said Sandusky is allowed to see most of his grandchildren, with the exception of three grandchildren who are the subject of a custody battle. Sandusky’s daughter-in-law, who is married to his son Matt, expressed to the court that she did not want her children near Sandusky, according to Cleland’s ruling.
Cleland also ruled that Sandusky will be tried using a jury chosen from Centre County, in which his alleged crimes occurred. The county is home to Penn State University and the Second Mile charity, which prosecutors say Sandusky used to prey on children. The prosecution had asked for a jury from outside the county because of the probability that potential jurors would be somehow connected to either Penn State or the Second Mile.
Cleland also directed the prosecution to hand over the names of the alleged victims to the defense, but denied Sandusky’s request for a transcript of the grand jury testimony, saying the defense must ask the judge who oversaw the grand jury for a copy of the transcript.