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New Judge Named To Handle Penn State Scandal Case

A judge from a different Pennsylvania county who "has no known connections with Pennsylvania State University, the Second Mile charity, nor any officers or representatives of any of those entities," will handle the Dec. 7 preliminary hearing of the case against accused child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports.

The newspaper adds that the appointment of Judge Robert E. Scott from Westmoreland County to handle the hearing follows the raising of questions about connections between the judge who had been handling the case and the charity for at-risk children — Second Mile — founded by Sandusky:

"State College district judge Leslie Dutchcot, who set Jerry Sandusky's bail lower than what prosecutors asked for, benefited from a fundraiser organized by an official with The Second Mile, a children's charity started by Sandusky, according to My Fox Philly."

Sandusky, 67, says he's innocent of the 40 charges involving alleged sexual abuse of young boys that he faces. He was an assistant football coach at Penn State until 1999. His arrest rocked the school because of evidence in a grand jury's report that some of the incidents happened on campus and that some Penn State officials, including head coach Joe Paterno, had been told about what Sandusky allegedly did — but never alerted police. Paterno has been fired.

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Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.