Pennsylvania top court denies coach Sandusky's child sex-abuse appeal bid

PHILADELPHIA Wed Apr 2, 2014 6:18pm EDT

Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after his sentencing in his child sex abuse case in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Pat Little

Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after his sentencing in his child sex abuse case in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania October 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pat Little

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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Pennsylvania's top court on Wednesday rejected a bid by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky to appeal his 2012 conviction on charges of sexually abusing children.

In a case that rocked the world of big-time college sports, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, using his position in the prestigious football program to gain access to youth.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the 69-year-old Sandusky's appeal request in a terse, one-sentence ruling: "The petition for allowance of appeal is denied."

State officials welcomed the news.

"We are very pleased with the Supreme Court's decision," said Attorney General Kathleen Kane. "Protecting Pennsylvania's children is one of my top priorities and I remain committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual abuse."

An attorney for Sandusky, who is serving a sentence of 30-to-60 years in a state penitentiary, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

His lawyer, Norris Gelman, had argued that the state's case rested on the credibility of the victims because there was no physical or forensic evidence presented.

He said some of the complaints by the victims dated back as long as 16 years, and that should have warranted an instruction to the jury on the failure to make a prompt report of sexual abuse.

The case raised questions about the motivation of people who may have been aware of Sandusky's behavior and failed to report a top coach in the school's lucrative football program.

His one-time boss, coaching legend Joe Paterno lost his job in the aftermath of the scandal. Paterno died in 2012 at age 85.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)

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