Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach accused of child molestation, had a pre-trial hearing today to clear up some technical matters related to his trial and the conditions of his bail and nearly every decision went his way.
Judge John M. Cleland of Centre County, Penn. ruled on several pretrial motions this morning. The actual trial on the accusations of child molestation could happen as early as May.
The major decision rendered by the judge, is that he can spend as much time as he likes on his back porch. Neighbors had complained that he had been watching children at a nearby elementary school from his porch, but the judge ruled that he can use the space.
Sandusky was granted permission to see most of his grandchildren at home provided the parents of those children are present as well.
The only caveat to that ruling applies to his three grandchildren who are involved in a custody battle between their parents. The judge in that case will make the decision about those children.
Sandusky can have adult visitors at his home as well, though he had to provide a list of 12 non-family members that he intended to have over.
Sandusky is also allowed to travel, if it helps aid in his defense. But he must give the relevant authorities 36 hours notice before he departs and must stick to a strict itinerary while he is away.
Judge Cleland also ruled that the jury pool will come from Centre County, which is a blow to the prosecution. Penn State football as well as Sandusky are both well-known and generally well-liked figures in the area, so much so that the prosecution felt it might taint the jury pool.
The only motion that was denied to Sandusky was his request to have the grand jury testimony from his case released. That motion was denied because Cleland does not have oversight of the grand jury and therefore cannot make that decision.