STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A preliminary hearing for former Penn State University assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges has been postponed until mid-December, court officials said on Tuesday.
The hearing will now be held on December 13 at Center County court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. It was earlier scheduled for December 7, and originally for November 9, days after charges were handed down against Sandusky.
The delay was prompted by the “logistical needs” of the hearing, the court said on its website.
An avalanche of media is expected to descend on central Pennsylvania for the hearing in a case that has stunned the university and led to the firing of Penn State’s president and its revered football coach Joe Paterno.
Sandusky is the focus of a wide-ranging investigation of alleged child sex abuse, involving eight boys over a 15-year period, which was outlined in a 23-page grand jury report. In a recent nationally televised interview, Sandusky denied he abused the boys and said he is not a pedophile.
Sandusky’s lawyer told ABC News he expected more charges could be filed against his client after the storm of publicity surrounding the case.
“My concern is if they bring new charges based upon new people coming forth, that bail’s going to be set, and he’s going to wind up in jail,” Joe Amendola said.
“At this point, I don’t think people in general would even be willing to give Jerry a fair trial.”
The judge who released Sandusky on unsecured bail was removed from the case after it was discovered she had donated to, and volunteered for, Sandusky’s Second Mile charity. The replacement judge, Robert Scott, has no ties to Penn State.
Sandusky is alleged to have met all his victims through the charity, which he founded in 1977.
All of the judges in Penn State’s home county have now recused themselves from the case against Sandusky, the state courts system said.
The recusals by the four judges in the Center County Court of Common Pleas “are intended to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest due to real or perceived connections to the defendant, the Second Mile charity, or the Pennsylvania State University,” the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said in a statement.
Former athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz are facing perjury charges stemming from the investigation. The hearing for Schultz and Curley is slated for December 6. The pair have proclaimed their innocence.
Also on Tuesday, the Penn State interim head football coach said he doubted talk the team could be kept out of a postseason bowl game because of the scandal.