Prosecutors seek Megan’s Law hearing on Sandusky

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania prosecutors told a judge Wednesday they want convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky to be designated as a sexually violent predator under the state’s version of Megan’s Law.

The filing by the attorney general’s office, seeking a court hearing on the matter, said prosecutors expect to rely on testimony from an official with the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.

Sexually violent predators are subject to intense reporting requirements upon release from prison, but that may not mean much in the case of the 68-year-old Sandusky. The former Penn State assistant football coach is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison after he is sentenced for 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Defense lawyer Joe Amendola said that after Judge John Cleland schedules the hearing, he will meet with Sandusky to determine if they will oppose the designation. Sandusky maintains his innocence.

“The question is whether we want to spend the time and resources fighting it,” Amendola said.

Amendola said that the board’s recommendation in favor of sexually violent predator status for Sandusky was not a surprise, given his conviction for abuse of multiple victims, the number of counts and the serious nature of the charges against him.

“What they’re saying is, essentially, he groomed them,” Amendola said. “That basically fits the definition.”

Pennsylvania law designates certain offenders as sexually violent predators if they are considered to have mental abnormalities or personality disorders that make them likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.

While registration under Megan’s Law can last for 10 years in some cases, that requirement is lifelong for sexually violent predators. They also must update their home address to state police every three months and show they are participating in approved counseling.

Local police are required to notify neighbors that a sexually violent predator lives nearby and produce fliers that bear the predator’s name, address, photo and offense.

Sandusky’s sentencing has not been scheduled, and Amendola said he assumes it will not occur before next month.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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