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Sandusky takes stand for first time to deny sex abuse charges, seek new trial

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Convicted Child molester and former Penn State University coach Jerry Sandusky is scheduled to take the stand on Friday for a hearing seeking to prove that his attorney during his trial was incompetent. USA TODAY

Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Aug. 12, 2016, to appeal his child sex abuse conviction.(Photo: Justin K. Aller, Getty Images)

Former Penn State assistant football<span style="color: Red;">*</span>coach Jerry Sandusky, seeking to overturn his 2012 conviction as a serial sexual predator, denied the charges as "disgusting and dirty" Friday and<span style="color: Red;">*</span>testified<span style="color: Red;">*</span>that his original<span style="color: Red;">*</span>attorney misled him into giving a<span style="color: Red;">*</span>damning NBC interview on the eve of his original trial.
Sandusky, who is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence<span style="color: Red;">*</span>at the Greene County prison,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>is seeking a retrial under Pennsylvania's Post-Conviction Relief Act<span style="color: Red;">*</span>that applies to cases in which new evidence surfaces, constitutional rights have been violated<span style="color: Red;">*</span>or<span style="color: Red;">*</span>the defendant<span style="color: Red;">*</span>claims gross negligence by his attorney.
Sandusky, 72, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys. Several of the incidents occurred in the Penn State locker room.
Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and white sneakers, a smiling<span style="color: Red;">*</span>Sandusky walked into the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., accompanied by guards. He carried packets of papers in his hands, which were handcuffed in front of him.
In an hour on the stand<span style="color: Red;">*</span>— the first time he has officially defended himself in court<span style="color: Red;">*</span>—<span style="color: Red;">*</span>the former coach<span style="color: Red;">*</span>argued that he was<span style="color: Red;">*</span>given bad media advice and legal guidance by his original lawyer, Joseph Amendola.
Judge John Cleland has given Sandusky's team a chance to make their case in three days of evidentiary hearings,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>the Patriot-News reported.<span style="color: Red;">*</span>A spokesman for Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Thursday that her office will "vigorously" defend the prosecution in court, according to the newspaper.
Sandusky told the court that he was "not in a very good emotional state" when Amendola pressed him on short notice to give an interview to NBC's Bob Costas.
"I had no idea what was going to happen," Sandusky<span style="color: Red;">*</span>said. "I thought maybe they were just going to tape my response of my innocence. Amendola didn't suggest any questions they might ask."
Excerpts showing Sandusky struggling to answer questions about his alleged attraction to<span style="color: Red;">*</span>young boys<span style="color: Red;">*</span>were<span style="color: Red;">*</span>shown at his 2012<span style="color: Red;">*</span>trial.
Sandusky also vigorously<span style="color: Red;">*</span>denied he was guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted.
"Absolutely not. ... That idea was totally foreign to me," he said Friday, according to PennLive.com. "That (sexual contact with children)<span style="color: Red;">*</span>is disgusting and dirty, and something that I never would have thought of, and something that I never did with anybody."
Sandusky<span style="color: Red;">*</span>also argued Amendola damaged<span style="color: Red;">*</span>his case by initially telling<span style="color: Red;">*</span>the jury that Sandusky would testify and then<span style="color: Red;">*</span>convincing<span style="color: Red;">*</span>his client at the last minute not to take the stand.

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