|Rape trial of ex-Penn St. RB Austin Scott delayed after last-minute legal filings|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 17 April 2008 05:26|
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.
Scott, 23, of Allentown, is awaiting trial on felony rape and sexual-assault charges, along with three misdemeanor charges.
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 it did deny a request for an immediate hearing from defense attorney John Karoly. He has filed an emergency motion seeking to quash Marshall's appeal.
Karoly said the trial should start soon, 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 was suspended by Penn State coach Joe Paterno on Oct. 5, citing a violation of team rules. Police charged Scott a week later.