HARRISBURG, Pa. — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky argued in a new appeal Wednesday that pretrial publicity, leaks and unprepared defense lawyers are among the reasons a judge should throw out his child sexual abuse conviction.
Sandusky says the criminal proceedings violated his constitutional rights, prosecutors engaged in misconduct and his attorneys were ineffective during his 2012 trial and an earlier round of appeals.
"The commonwealth's entire case was a house of cards resting on testimony that trial counsel should have exposed as incompetent, unreliable and inadmissible," wrote his new lawyer, Al Lindsay.
He says Sandusky's right to a fair trial was "crushed under a stampede of vitriol, rage and prejudice" that warrants a new trial and ultimately the dismissal of charges.
State prosecutors said they are reviewing the petition and plan to respond.
Sandusky, 71, was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus, and is serving a decades-long prison sentence. He has maintained his innocence, acknowledging he showered with boys but saying he didn't abuse them.
A Tulsa, Oklahoma man charged with sexually abusing a girl over a four-year period from the time she was 3 pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The four counts of child sexual abuse filed against Jimmy Earnest Hill, 58, alleged that he sodomized the girl, performed other sex acts on her and forced her to perform other sex acts on him.
Prosecutors charged Hill in March, and the initial filing against him shows a date range for the crimes from 2010 to July 2014, during which time the victim would have been 3 to 7 years old.
A Haitian native who worked as a security guard at a Tulsa high school before his arrest was found guilty on five counts of child sexual abuse against a female relative Wednesday.
A jury convicted Yvon Demesmin, 43, after one day of testimony and less than an hour of deliberation. Jurors recommended two life sentences on counts involving intercourse and three 25-year sentences on the remaining counts involving various other sex acts.
Demesmin asserted at the time of his arrest that he was unaware of the criminal nature of his actions and that the relationship would have been acceptable in his native country, a point on which the defense relied at trial.
“The defendant most certainly did” know of the wrongfulness of his actions and treated his victim as “his sexual pin cushion for seven months,” she said.
Furthermore, a prosecution witness in the case who is also Haitian testified that the country does not condone sex with children.
Public defender Chuck Sullivan painted Demesmin as someone who was easily manipulated by Tulsa police detectives into making a statement.
“The question is: ‘Should Yvon have known better?’” he said in his closing argument.
The jury began deliberating around 3:15 p.m. and submitted its verdict to District Judge William LaFortune shortly after 4.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for June 19.
An Overland Park man accused last month of molesting two of his students at a Shawnee music store now is charged with sexually abusing two more children.
Sean Andrew Dow, who had been free on bond in the case filed last month, was arrested on the new charges Tuesday night.
A spokesman for the store said last month that the store “immediately ended” its relationship with Dow when the allegations came to light.
The new charges, filed Tuesday in Johnson County District Court, involve children younger than 14. The incidents of “lewd fondling or touching” allegedly occurred between March 2014 and earlier this year. According to court documents, one victim was about 8 years old and the other was 4 or 5.
The charges filed in April involved girls who were 11 and 12, according to court documents.
Both involved allegations of inappropriate touching. Dow also allegedly asked the 11-year-old for a pair of her underwear, according to the documents.
Bond in the new case was set at $100,000.
Dow, 28, appeared in court on the new charges Wednesday afternoon. A judge denied a request to modify bond.