At least some of his 10 accusers had been expected to testify at the hearing on Tuesday. By waiving the hearing, Sandusky moves the case toward trial. It also cancels the possibility that he would publicly face his accusers.
The decision, though unexpected, is not unusual in Pennsylvania.
"This development we believe provides maximum protection to most importantly the victims in this case," said Senior Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo. "It avoids their having to testify for a second time. They will of course testify at a trial in the case."
Sandusky arrived at the courthouse around 5 a.m. PT with his wife Dottie by his side. The 67-year-old is charged with more than 50 counts of sexual offenses against boys as young as 10 years old.
Sandusky has denied the allegations. He told reporters as he left the courthouse that he would "stay the course, fight for four quarters." He says the defense would present their side later.
Sandusky's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 11.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.