Category: Law / December 13, 2011 4:37 PM EST
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on Tuesday (December 13) abruptly waived his right to a preliminary hearing on sex abuse charges, meaning his case will go straight to trial. No date has been set for a trial, which could be several months or even over a year away. 67-yr-old Sandusky has maintained his innocence on 52 charges of molesting 10 boys over more than a decade. The scandal over the sex abuse allegations has rocked Pennsylvania State University and the multi-billion dollar world of college athletics. Tuesday's hearing had been expected to determine whether there was enough evidence to bring Sandusky for trial. Sandusky addressed reporters as he left the courthouse. "We fully intend to put together the best possible defense that we can do, to stay the course, to fight for four quarters. We want the opportunity to present our side," Sandusky said. Sandusky's decision immediately prompted speculation that he may seek a deal to plead guilty in return for a reduced prison sentence. When reporters asked an attorney for one of the accusers about his client's reaction to news of the waiver, he said he thought his client would be relieved. "I can imagine this is terrific for my client, as well as all of the other victims who now do not have to relive the horrors that they experienced up on the witness stand," said Boni. Sandusky's defense attorney told reporters, "This is the fight of Jerry Sandusky's life. This goes beyond the Penn State-Miami game in '86 - this is the game of his life." Sandusky will be formerly arraigned on the charges on January 11. Two former university officials have also been charged in an alleged cover-up of Sandusky's activities, and have professed their innocence. Penn State's board of trustees in November fired legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the prestigious university's president as part of the fallout from the scandal.