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Jerry Sandusky waives preliminary hearing

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky waives his right to a preliminary hearing.

Jerry Sandusky waives preliminary hearing Enlarge
A ninth accuser has stepped forward and has filed a lawsuit against Jerry Sandusky for sexually abuse. (Patrick Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, in a surprise decision that means he will avoid facing his accusers, and will move him toward a trial.

According to the Guardian, at least 10 of the accusers had been expected to testify against the Penn State assistant football coach. He faces more than 50 charges of sexual assaults over 15 years on 10 boys in his home, Penn State property, and elsewhere.

Sandusky's waiver was announced as the hearing began on Tuesday.

He told reporters, while leaving the courthouse, that he would "stay the course" in defending himself.

More from GlobalPost: Sandusky posts $250K bail.  

Eleven witnesses, including accusers, were ready to give evidence during the preliminary hearing.

According to the Associated Press:

A lawyer for a victim, a boy whose mother contacted police in 1998 after her son allegedly showered with Sandusky, said waiving the hearing amounted to more abuse of the accusers, who had steeled themselves to testify.

"It would have been apparent from watching those boys and their demeanor that they were telling the truth," lawyer Howard Janet said 

Sandusky's arrest in November prompted a crisis at the university, which boasts one of the strongest football programs in the country, BBC News reported.  

The team's head coach, Joe Paterno, was fired after accusations of a cover-up began to emerge.  

Graham Spanier, the university's president, was also fired because of the scandal.

More from GlobalPost: New accuser files first lawsuit against Penn State's Sandusky

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111213/jerry-sandusky-waives-preliminary-hearing