By GENARO ARMAS and MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors asked Tuesday to have Jerry Sandusky kept indoors as part of his bail conditions, citing complaints that the former Penn State assistant football coach was seen outside and watching children in a schoolyard from the back porch of his home, where he remains under house arrest while awaiting trial on child molestation charges.
The state attorney general's office argued in a court filing that Sandusky's bail conditions should be revised so that he is not allowed outside except to seek medical treatment. Prosecutors said they opposed Sandusky's request to be allowed contact with his grandchildren as he awaits trial on 52 child sex-abuse charges.
"Several individuals from the adjacent elementary school have expressed concerns for the safety of children at their school and the adjacent neighborhood," prosecutors wrote. "Such concerns will only mushroom if defendant is permitted to roam at will outside his house."
Defense attorney Joe Amendola issued a statement late Tuesday that said safety concerns in Sandusky's neighborhood were totally unfounded, and that he has complied with all bail conditions.
"Sadly, some individuals apparently want him incarcerated even before he has an opportunity to present his defense and prove his innocence in court," Amendola said.
The allegation Sandusky was watching children was outlined in an exhibit attached to the filing, a memo from a state investigator to a county probation officer that said a teacher and intern had reported concern for the children's safety.
"They advised the neighbor that yesterday they had the children outside for recess as it was a warmer day, and that they both witnessed Mr. Sandusky on his rear house deck watching the children play," investigator Anthony Sassano wrote on Jan. 26.
Sandusky's two-story home at the end of a dead-end street has a black and orange "No Trespassing" sign staked near the base of the driveway, while the two properties directly adjacent to his home have white signs supporting the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
Neighbor Jody Harrington said he has seen Sandusky walking his dog and on his back porch nearly daily, and at times when children are playing on the Lemont Elementary playground.
He said he has expressed concerns informally with other neighbors, the school principal and police, and told his children to avoid Sandusky.
"Because of due process, we have to sit and wait. But that waiting process, it's painful. It's hard," he said. "The best way to describe it is I feel very violated."
Amendola said Sandusky has left his home only rarely since early December, for medical and legal purposes, and to help his wife clear snow from the driveway.
"Jerry can't open his front door to let his dog, Bo, out without someone contacting law enforcement authorities to report his whereabouts," Amendola said.
The prosecution filing regarding bail said Sandusky's son's ex-wife "strenuously objects" to her three minor children having any contact with him, and that prosecutors believe Sandusky was fortunate to be granted bail.
"The commonwealth believes that (the) defendant should be in jail," prosecutors wrote. "He has been granted the privilege of being confined in his own home, which is spacious and private and where he can eat food of his own preference and sleep in his own bed at night. House arrest is not meant to be a house party."
That court document, and several motions filed late Monday by Sandusky's lawyer, come ahead of a court hearing Friday regarding his bail modification request.
Sandusky, 68, a former longtime defensive coordinator for Penn State's football team, has maintained he is innocent of the allegations, which claim he engaged in a range of illegal acts with boys over 15 years, from touching their legs to subjecting them to violent sexual assault.
As Sandusky's lawyers prepare for trial, they have asked a judge for copies of secret grand jury testimony, the phone numbers of his accusers and other material. A 37-page pretrial discovery motion sought dozens of records from the state attorney general's office, including subpoenas, photos, unredacted passages of blacked-out documents already provided to the defense, investigative notes and psychiatric records.