Sandusky Appears Gaunt, Frail Before Court Appearance - New York News

Sandusky Appears Gaunt, Frail Before Court Appearance, Victim's Attorney Says

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Jerry Sandusky is seen as he arrives for his court hearing Thursday. Jerry Sandusky is seen as he arrives for his court hearing Thursday.
BELLEFONTE, Pa. -

What does six months in prison do to a 68-year old man?

We got our answer Thursday, when convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky arrived in court to watch his lawyers argue that he deserves a new trial.

His presence was not- strictly speaking- necessary, as the defense argued they had insufficient time to prepare for the June, 2012 proceedings.

But it gave Sandusky a rare chance to spend a day outside prison walls. And that seemed to put a spring in his step.

"He was in good spirits today," said attorney Norris Gelman, hired to lead Sandusky's appeal. "He's doing very well. He's resilient. And he's handling prison nicely."

Sandusky spends 23 hours a day alone in his cell at the maximum security state prison in Greene county, in Pennsylvania's southwestern corner.

Gelman told reporters he has television privileges and is allowed two phone calls and one visit per month.

Inside the courtroom Thursday, Sandusky broke into a broad smile at the sight of his wife Dottie and several family friends.

But beneath his maroon Centre County prison wear (he was moved from SCI-Greene on Wednesday and spent Wednesday night at the county lock-up) Sandusky looked like a shell of the 67-year old former Penn State assistant football coach was who arrested just 14 months ago. Defense attorney Joe Amendola confirmed Sandusky has lost weight.

"I saw a changed man," said attorney Tom Kline, who represents one of Sandusky's victims and attended Thursday's hearing. "just in physical appearance alone. He is gaunt and frail, and very thin."

Sandusky will mark his 69th birthday later this month- January 26th, to be exact. It will be his first birthday behind bars- perhaps the first of many.

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