By Ben Present
Of the Legal Staff
Jerry Sandusky can visit with, call, text, Skype and write to most of his grandchildren, a judge ruled Monday, as long as one of the children’s parents is supervising.
The order comes as Senior Judge John M. Cleland also denied a request from state prosecutors to bring in a jury from outside Centre County to decide the embattled ex-coach’s fate. Cleland said the state had failed to establish facts that the “most imperative grounds” support bringing in out-of-county jurors.
While Cleland agreed that the prosecutors concerns of unrelenting media scrutiny and the county’s interest in Penn State football were valid, he ultimately decided that prosecutors had not proven such would affect the jury pool.
In a separate order, Cleland decided Sandusky can see most of his grandchildren, host adult visitors in his home and enjoy the outdoors on his property while he awaits trial. Sandusky’s neighbors had raised concerns that the coach was outside his home while their children were nearby, sentiments that were reflected in state court filings aiming to keep the coach’s house arrest conditions tight.
The decision allows Sandusky to see eight of his 11 grandchildren. According to Cleland’s order, three of the grandchildren are involved in a custody dispute between one of Sandusky’s sons and his ex-wife, who “strongly objects” to her three children seeing their grandfather, Cleland said. Since that litigation is pending, Cleland said he would defer to the judge presiding over the custody proceedings.