Sandusky lawyers claim accusers collaborating against ex-coach

Prosecutors seek further bond restrictions

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In separate motions filed Tuesday, attorneys for Jerry Sandusky alleged that his accusers are collaborating against the former Penn State defensive coordinator, while prosecutors are asking to have the man's bond conditions be even further restricted to keep him from going outside and watching children at a nearby elementary school.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola asked the court hearing the sexual abuse case to compel the state attorney general's office to provide him with a variety of outstanding discovery materials, including the phone numbers of the 10 alleged victims in the case.

"The defendant believes the accusers may have collaborated with each other in making these false accusations," Mr. Amendola wrote.

Without the phone numbers, the defense will be unable to get necessary records to determine if the witnesses had contact with each other "at critical times during the commonwealth's investigation and prosecution in his cases."

The defense began receiving evidence, called discovery, in the case in mid-January and received names of eight of 10 accusers on Friday. However, Mr. Amendola claims that much of the materials, including investigative reports, contain redactions ranging from single entries to entire pages. At least 33 pages of reports are entirely redacted, the defense said.

Among the information being sought are reports from various psychologists who interviewed the alleged victims, as well as documents related to the 1998 accusations in which Mr. Sandusky was accused of improperly showering with a boy.

Mr. Amendola wrote in the motion that an incident report provided to him "describes an interview with Karen Arnold, a former assistant district attorney, wherein she and former District Attorney Ray Gricar had extensive disagreements over a 1998 police investigation regarding the defendant. The incident report author fails to identify the victim/investigating agency."

The defense is asking for any and all other documents from the district attorney's office, "as well as a copy of the communications from the then-district attorney Gricar as to his decision not to prosecute the defendant and to effectively close the case."

Senior Judge John M. Cleland, who is presiding over the case, has scheduled the matter to be argued on Friday, along with previously filed motions by the government asking for a jury from outside Centre County to be brought in to hear the case.

At that time, Judge Cleland also planned to hear argument on a motion by Mr. Sandusky asking that his bail be modified so that he may visit with his grandchildren.

However, in a response filed Tuesday, the attorney general's office said it opposes the modification request.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle H. Eshbach wrote that she is aware that the ex-wife of one of Mr. Sandusky's sons "strenuously objects to her three minor children having any contact whatsoever with defendant.

"House arrest is not meant to be a house party," she wrote. "Contact visits do not occur in the Centre County Prison and should not occur during defendant's house arrest."

In addition, Ms. Eshbach said neighbors of Mr. Sandusky have expressed concerns about his being "repeatedly observed outside the confines of his house, which borders on a playground."

One neighbor complained that Mr. Sandusky was seen by a teacher and intern at the school "on his rear house deck watching the children play."


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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