BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) -The rape trial of former Penn State running back Austin Scott was delayed Wednesday as the state Superior Court wrangled over last-minute appeals.
Instead of hearing opening statements, Centre County Judge Thomas Kistler told jurors that the trial was on hold. No new start time was given, though Kistler said it could be within the next few days.
Kistler also didn't give the jury a reason for the delay, though he did tell the panel there were ``exceptional circumstances.''
Prosecutors on Tuesday asked the appeals court to overturn rulings by Kistler that allowed jurors to hear evidence of the alleged victim's involvement in a separate case five years ago. The defendant in that case was acquitted of rape and other charges brought about by accusations made by the woman who accused Scott of rape.
Assistant District Attorney Lance Marshall said in a notice of appeal Tuesday that Kistler's orders would ``terminate or substantially handicap the prosecution.''
The Superior Court on Wednesday didn't give a timetable for a ruling, though the court did deny an ``emergency motion'' from defense attorney John Karoly to quash Marshall's appeal.
Karoly said the trial should start as soon as possible, citing Scott's interest in pursuing a pro football career. Karoly told the court a delay in the trial would give Scott ``irreparable harm financially and professionally.'' The NFL draft is April 26.
Scott, 23, of Allentown, is awaiting trial on felony rape and sexual-assault charges, along with three misdemeanor charges.
In 2002, he set state high school records for most single-season rushing yards and touchdowns. But his career at Penn State was set back in part by injuries, and other, lesser off-field issues that didn't please coach Joe Paterno.
Scott never played for Penn State again after Paterno suspended him Oct. 5, citing a violation of team rules. Police charged Scott a week later.
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