An excited utterance, in the law of evidence, is a statement made by a person in response to a startling or shocking event or condition. It is an unplanned reaction to a “startling event”. It is an exception to the hearsay rule.
Because the janitor has dementia he is legally unavailable to testify. His statement to the other janitor were admitted under the “Excited Utterance” exception to hearsay.
While hearsay is generally not admissible because it is deemed inherently unreliable, their are many exceptions where hearsay can legally be admitted and this is one of them. The “excited” nature of the “utterance” is response to a startling even is deemed to make the otherwise hearsay statement more reliable. See Federal Rule of Evidence 803:
Here the “startling event” of seeing a well respected football coach performing oral sex on an 11 year old cuase to janitor to say something like: Holy crap I just saw Sandusky raping a kid”. That is textbook “excited utterance” and thus the judge was right to let it in. No appellate judge in PA is going to want to reverse this case on that decision. Especially since Appellate Judge in PA are ELECTED positions.