HARRISBURG, Pa. – Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict on child sex abuse charges.
Judge John Cleland’s 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.
I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant’s trial counsel failed to test the prosecution’s case in a meaningful manner, Cleland wrote.
Sex-slave ring in Mexico broken up
Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border, Mexican immigration authorities said Tuesday.
The Defensores de Cristo or Defenders of Christ allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ, according to an official of a victims’ advocacy group, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution, according to the National Immigration Institute that said it filed a complaint more than a year ago about the cult.
The institute said 14 foreigners were detained in the raid and have been turned over to prosecutors, pending possible charges.
Philadelphia priest, teacher convicted
A jury on Wednesday convicted a priest and teacher in a pivotal church-abuse case that rocked the Philadelphia archdiocese and sent a church official to prison for child endangerment.
The verdict upholds the stunning account from a troubled 24-year-old policeman’s son that he was sexually abused as a boy by two priests and his sixth-grade teacher. One priest took a plea deal before trial, while the jury convicted the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero of all but one count.
The 2009 complaint describing the abuse led to the landmark conviction last year of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy in Philadelphia. Lynn is serving three to six years in prison for his role transferring an admitted pedophile priest to the accuser’s northeast Philadelphia parish.
LA archdiocese to release documents
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it will soon reveal 30,000 pages of confidential personnel files without blacking out the names of church leaders who knew about sexual abuse by priests. Archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said Wednesday the church has given up on its plan to redact the names and the files will be turned over to lawyers for abuse victims.
Ex-Illinois governor freed from prison
Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was back at his longtime home on Wednesday following his pre-dawn release from a federal prison after serving more than five years for corruption.
He first reported to a halfway house in Chicago but in a development that took observers by surprise was allowed to go to his spacious home in Kankakee, where he’ll be under home confinement for at least several weeks.