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New judge named in Penn State scandal amid conflict reports

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A senior district judge with no known ties to Penn State University has been appointed to preside over a planned hearing for accused child molester and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, state authorities said on Wednesday.

Robert Scott is a senior judge in Westmoreland County. The move comes after a request from the common pleas court in Center County, where Penn State is located, for an out-of-county judicial assignment.

The judge who allowed Sandusky to go free on a $100,000 unrestricted bond after his arrest on November 5 had a conflict of interest because she had been a volunteer for The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded, according to media reports.

Scott "has no known connections with the Pennsylvania State University, the Second Mile Charity, nor any officers or representatives of any of those entities," the administrative office of Pennsylvania Courts said in a statement.

The preliminary hearing for Sandusky will be held December 7 or at another date determined by Scott. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a period of nearly 15 years.

(Reporting by James Kelleher, writing by Ros Krasny)