Two rulings that went in favor of Jerry Sandusky

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Two rulings that went in favor of Jerry Sandusky

From Comcast SportsNet
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A judge rejected requests by prosecutors that jurors be brought in from outside the State College area to hear the child sex-abuse case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Judge John Cleland on Monday also denied prosecutors' requests that Sandusky remain indoors while on home confinement before his trial and ruled that Sandusky can have supervised contact with most of his grandchildren, saying there was no evidence that the children's parents wouldn't be able to keep them safe. Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts for what prosecutors say was the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He has denied the allegations. Cleland has tentatively scheduled the trial to start in mid-May. He said jury selection will be a challenge, given the pretrial publicity and the special role that Penn State plays in the Centre County community. "If, after a reasonable attempt it is apparent that a jury cannot be selected within a reasonable time, then I will reconsider this ruling," Cleland wrote. A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the judge's orders were being reviewed. Sandusky's lawyer issued a statement saying Sandusky, his wife and their family were "relieved by and pleased with" the visitation ruling, which pertains to all but three of his 11 grandchildren, ages 2 to 14. Those three children are involved in a custody case, and Cleland deferred decisions about any visits from them to the judge handling that matter. Prosecutors made the bail modification request, asking that Sandusky remain indoors, after hearing concerns by neighbors about the safety of children, particularly at an elementary school behind Sandusky's house. "The commonwealth failed to present any evidence whatsoever that the defendant presents a clearly defined threat to any student at the adjoining elementary school simply by being on his deck," Cleland wrote. "No evidence was presented that at any time the defendant made any effort to contact any of the children by signaling or calling to them, or that he made any gestures directed toward them, or that he acted in any inappropriate way whatsoever." Cleland encouraged state prosecutors to work with the judge who supervised a grand jury that investigated Sandusky to figure out how to release grand jury transcripts to Sandusky's lawyers "on a schedule which balances the appropriate interests of maintaining the secrecy of the grand jury while still assuring the trial can proceed without unnecessary disruption." Cleland also ordered prosecutors to tell defense lawyers where and when the purported crimes occurred and how old the children were at the time. He addressed disputes between the sides over material that should be turned over to the defense by directing prosecutors to put their objections in writing by Feb. 20. Sandusky's lawyers will be allowed to reply by Feb. 27. Sandusky lost a request to force prosecutors to disclose the names, addresses and birth dates of witnesses. "While we are happy with the outcome of Friday's hearings, we realize, nevertheless, a number of difficult legal battles lie ahead of us," his lawyer, Joe Amendola, said in a statement. "We will continue to work very hard in preparing Jerry's defense with the ultimate goal of obtaining Jerry's acquittal." The 68-year-old Sandusky was also granted the right to see adult visitors. Under the court's latest order, he will list up to 12 adults he would like to be able to see, subject to approval by the county officials overseeing his home confinement. His visits will be limited to a total of two hours, three times a week. Also Monday, a Penn State administrator asked a judge to throw out charges that he lied to the grand jury investigating Sandusky and that he failed to properly report suspected child abuse. Tim Curley filed motions in Dauphin County Court that argued the death of football coach Joe Paterno last month left prosecutors without a required second witness to support the perjury charge. He said allegations that he didn't report suspected abuse in 2002 were filed under a revision of the law that was passed five years later and that the statute of limitations has expired. The attorney general's office said it, too, was under review. The 57-year-old Curley is on leave as athletic director as he awaits trial. Former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, who faces the same charges as Curley, has not filed similar motions. Both have denied the allegations.

Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

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Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

BOSTON -- Noel Acciari missed a month of game action with a lower body injury, so it would have been perfectly acceptable to show plenty of rust in his game upon returning to the Boston lineup.

But the former Providence College standout didn’t look rusty, a step behind or out of place in any way as he played the fourth line energy forward role to a perfect fit after missing the last 13 games. Acciari did get in one game with the Providence Bruins prior to suiting back up for the Black and Gold on Saturday, and perhaps that helped him manufacture a couple of shots on net to go along with three thumping hits against the Maple Leafs.

The 25-year-old Acciari didn’t factor into the scoring at all for the Bruins, but that’s just as well given that his focus should be on killing penalties, being hard to play against and taking the body whenever the chance presents itself. Claude Julien reformed the B’s energy line that had so much success earlier in the season with Acciari, Dominic Moore and Tim Schaller, and didn’t hesitate tossing them back into the mix together while looking for energy and a spark for an offensively stunted team.

“It’s good to be back with my linemates, and you know, I think we kind of picked up where we left off, but there’s definitely things we need to work on. That’ll come with a couple more practices and games together,” said Acciari, who finished theSaturday loss with three registered hits packed into 11:35 of ice time. “Kind of getting back to our familiarity and kind of get back to where we were before I got injured.

“It was a good start tonight, but we definitely just weren’t clicking like we used to, but that’ll come. I think that will come. Like I said, a couple practices and just kind of getting some games in [are good things]. I thought we were pretty good tonight, but, you know, should get more pucks to score [goals].”

Clearly there is room for improvement for everybody including Acciari, but it was encouraging to see the fearless competitor again flying around on the TD Garden ice playing high intensity hockey for a fourth line that could use every little bit of that. 

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

BOSTON -- This may not come as a surprise, but the Boston Bruins are having some trouble putting the puck in the net.

Despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by an 11-2 margin in the first period and outshooting them by a 32-21 margin over the balance of the 60 minute game, the Bruins scratched for just a single goal in a frustrating, constipated 4-1 loss to Toronto at TD Garden. Clearly some of the offensive difficulty was caused by a solid Frederik Andersen, who improved to 6-0-0 in a career against Boston that’s beginning to take on Bruins Killer proportions.

But a great deal of the B’s struggles to finish scoring chances on Saturday night is a malady that’s dogged the Bruins all season, and marked the 20th time in 29 games this year that Boston has scored two goals or less. In most of these games the Bruins have dominated puck possession and outshot their opponents, but still have come away mostly empty handed in the goals scored department while dropping deep in the bottom third of NHL offenses this season.

“It seems like every game we’re out-chancing teams, but we don’t outscore teams. That’s where the biggest issue is right now. Our scoring is not there and if you don’t score goals you don’t win hockey games,” said Claude Julien. “Because of that we criticize everything else in our game, but our game isn’t that bad.

“If we were scoring goals people would love our game right now, but that’s the biggest part. There’s not much more I can say here except for the fact that if we don’t score goals it’s going to be hard to win hockey games.”

But the Bruins aren’t scoring goals consistently, their power play is below average while trending in the wrong direction and the team has been forced to watch steady offensive players like Patrice Bergeron suddenly slump in a concerning way. Clearly David Pastrnak is doing his part with 18 goals scored this season in 24 games, and others like Brad Marchand and Dominic Moore have also performed above, or beyond, their acceptable level of play.

But there are other players failing with the chance to make an offensive dent: Austin Czarnik has been on the roster for nearly two months, and has zero goals and two points in his last 15 games as the offense is again dried up on the third line. He missed wide on a shorthanded chance in the third period after a Moore centering pass set up him all alone in front, and was critiquing himself for fanning on a perfect dish to him in the slot.

Moments later the Leafs had an insurance score from James van Riemsdyk to make it a 3-1 game, and it was all over for the Black and Gold at that point.

Czarnik is an easy target because he’s young and inexperienced, but there is more than enough struggle and frustration to go around with a bunch of offensive players that can’t seem to get out of their own way. David Backes admitted it’s reached a point where the Bruins are frustrated when they can’t score enough to beat a team like Toronto, and that it falls squarely on the lead guys in the Black and Gold dressing room that are underperforming.

“I think offensive frustration is warranted at this point; we just haven’t done a good enough job scoring goals. We played a heck of a first period. We limited them to two shots and we had an opportunity to have a team that’s coming in here that’s a younger team, to really put them behind the eight ball,” said Backes. “Instead, they think they got a second lease on life and they were able to capitalize. All of the sudden, they were up 2-0 and we’re fighting an uphill battle again rather than -- we have that opportunity to play a heck of a first period and we don’t find a way – it’s easy to talk about, but it’s going out there and doing the job and putting it past or through the goalie, or however it needs to happen. “You’ve seen our goals; you want to do a study on it unless you’re Pasta [David Pastrnak] with the one-timer on the side, it’s been ugly, it’s been rebounds, it’s been greasy goals and that’s our equation and we need more of it, and we didn’t do it. They did a good job of being in front of their net and boxing out, eliminating those second chances. But, we’ve got good players in here that need to create more and find those second chances and win those battles, find those loose pucks, and throw them in the net.”

The Bruins have been talking seemingly all season about the need to get to the “dirty areas in the offensive zone”, and for players to jump all over the second and third chance opportunities currently going by the board unchallenged on goalie rebounds.

Now it’s about speaking with action for the B’s, and more specifically speaking volumes with goals and offensive finish instead of “chances” that aren’t doing much of anything if they’re not being snapped into the back of the net.