The trial is set to start in May
Judge John Cleland of Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, also denied a prosecution effort to keep Sandusky within the walls of his State College home after a teacher at a neighboring elementary school complained he was standing on his deck, watching students on the playground. Sandusky, 68, is charged with 52 criminal counts Burberry belts stemming from accusations he molested 10 boys between 1994 and 2008. He has been confined to his home since December. The trial is set to start in May. His indictment in November rocked the U.S. collegiate sports world and led to the dismissal of Penn State's long-time head football coach, Joe Paterno, who died on January 22. University President Graham Spanier also lost his job. The judge deferred a decision on the remaining three grandchildren to a judge overseeing their parents' divorce, as their mother, Sandusky's daughter-in-law, objected to the request. Sandusky's lawyer said in a statement the daughter-in-law had accused Sandusky of two incidents of abuse, at least one of which involved her 5-year-old son, but that county child welfare officials last month determined both allegations were unfounded. Under Cleland's ruling, Sandusky is allowed to meet in his home with 11 of his 14 grandchildren. The judge granted Sandusky permission for other forms of contact, such as telephone calls and electronic communication like email and Skype, with all 14 grandchildren. Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, said in a statement the Sandusky family was pleased by the judge's decisions but acknowledged "difficult legal battles lie ahead of us. We continue to work very hard in preparing Jerry's defense with the ultimate goal of obtaining Jerry's acquittal following his trial." Weighing the elementary school's concerns as well as complaints by neighbors that Sandusky was in his driveway shoveling snow, the judge ruled the prosecution's request to keep him indoors rather than simply on his own property was not warranted. "No evidence was presented that at any time the defendant made any effort to contact any of the children by signaling or calling to them or that he made any gestures directed toward them or that he acted in an inappropriate way whatsoever," the judge ruled. "The generalized concerns of parents, while understandable, cannot justify additional bail restrictions." In 30 pages of rulings issued on Monday, Cleland also allowed Sandusky to travel to the office of his lawyer, Joe Amendola, to prepare his defense, as long as he provides at least 36 hours notice to the court. Sandusky was partially successful in his effort to learn more about witnesses against him. The judge ruled the prosecution must provide the time, date, location and accuser's age at the time of any alleged offense but not the particular acts Sandusky is accused of committing or the names, addresses and ages of witnesses. Cleland denied a prosecution request for a jury made up of people from outside Centre County, home of Penn State. The prosecution had argued that a jury made up of local residents would place the case in "peril" because they are too emotionally and financially intertwined with cheap burberry ties the university. The judge said he was convinced a fair jury could be selected. A motorcyclist speeds toward a government vehicle, attaches a magnetic bomb and buzzes away moments before a fiery explosion. Last month, that's how an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in Tehran. And on Monday, Indian officials said such an attack injured an Israeli diplomat's wife and three others in a well-guarded neighborhood of New Delhi near the Israeli Embassy. Israel and Iran are accusing each other of perpetrating the plots. Israel is also blaming Iran for a second embassy vehicle bombing incident Monday, in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, that caused no injuries. Meanwhile, analysts expressed concern that the incidents could mark the latest round of a campaign of covert and possibly state-sponsored, retaliatory violence between the two enemies or their proxies. Israeli officials blamed Iran and its Lebanon-based Islamist ally, Hezbollah, but few expect the strikes will trigger an overt retaliation or direct military confrontation with Iran. Likewise, Tehran has, officially at least, done little more than publicly condemn what it sees as Israel's hand in nearly half a dozen assassinations of its scientists and deadly explosions at its nuclear facilities over the last two years. Whatever the case, many analysts predict that a vigorous — yet publicly deniable — campaign of violence is in the offing. "This is an extension of the shadow war," said Uzi Rabi, chair of Middle Eastern studies at Tel Aviv University. "We will be seeing more of this." Israel is believed by many to have initiated a covert assassination campaign to slow Iran's nuclear program, which it fears will be used to build atomic weapons that will one day be used against it. Iran insists its nuclear program is meant for civilian energy purposes only. To maintain credibility with its allies and the Iranian public, analysts say, Tehran needs to retaliate for the attacks on its scientists it blames on Israel. But closing the Strait of Hormuz or attacking Tel Aviv would be too risky, Rabi said. Even encouraging Hezbollah to resume rocket fire against Israel might lead to a destructive regional war, as it did in 2006. "So the only recourse left at Iran's disposal is to hit back in the same way it claims it has been hit," Rabi said. By the same token, Israel will find its options limited in responding to Monday's attacks, according to experts. Though it maintains a tough deterrence policy with the Gaza Strip-based militant organization Hamas — retaliating for virtually every rocket fired against southern Israel — Israel would be reluctant to openly move against Iran for Monday's incidents given the region's current instability. "I don't think there will be a direct response toward Iran," said Danny Yatom, former head of Israeli spy agency Mossad. "We have to behave wisely. We don't want the situation to deteriorate into something we don't want now or cause deterioration in our northern border. Israel will choose the time, target and location of the response." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at such a reaction in a statement Monday. He promised a "strong, systematic, yet patient action." Though Israel provided no evidence of Iranian involvement, Netanyahu put the blame squarely on Tehran and Hezbollah. "Iran is behind these attacks," the prime minister said. "It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world." According to Yatom, who left the Mossad after Israel's burberry scarves sale botched 1997 assassination attempt against Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, the diplomatic attacks probably won't be a factor in Israel's ongoing debate regarding what it sees as the overarching issue: whether to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.