A former football coach and convicted child molester could be tried on other sexual abuse charges. The Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky may face a new sex abuse trial in a statute of limitations exception ruling. CNN reported on Oct. 29, that a Pennsylvania judge ruled that prosecutors must look at a criminal complaint filed by Anthony Spinelli. The 43-year-old Boston man claims Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted him as a football recruit in the late 1980s.
Previously it was understood that the statute of limitations on sex abuse covers everyone. But Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler said the Pennsylvania statute of limitations doesn’t apply to state employees. Kistler says the convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State coach, falls in that category, provided the accuser is under 50.
This ruling opens the doors for other victims who previously thought their case was outside the statute of limitations. In 2012, Sandusky was convicted of child sex abuse crimes against 10 boys. But at least 30 men were involved in the settlement with Penn State. Assaults covered nearly two decades and it reasoned there could be more victims.
Prosecutors said that the child molester Sandusky groomed his victims through his former children’s charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky’s attorney says he said he doesn’t think Sandusky has ever met Spinelli. But Spinelli, a once promising high school athlete, remembers Jerry Sandusky. Spinelli alleges Sandusky molested him once in the Penn State assistant coach’s locker room showers and once in Sandusky’s office.
Spinelli blames Sandusky for derailing his life. He says sex abuse made him turn to alcohol and drugs. Spinelli’s rap sheet includes theft, drug charges and a killing that he pleaded down to manslaughter. Spinelli never came forward after the Sandusky sex abuse scandal broke because he thought his case was too old.
Spinelli filed a criminal complaint last year, contesting the statute of limitations and that prompted the state employees exception ruling. Prosecutors found his story compelling but they still don’t know if it will come to trial. Spinelli says a trial won’t “fix anything” but it might help to be able to ask Jerry Sandusky why he would do such a thing. Sandusky has always maintained he isn’t a child molester and he’s appealing his conviction. Another judge says the grand jury may have leaked information in the Sandusky case which could redirect the entire thing.