One of the attorneys who represented former Penn State University football coach Jerry Sandusky in his sex abuse trial has been ordered to answer allegations that evidence from the case may have been improperly released to the media.
Karl Rominger has until May 1 to file a response in the case.
In June 2012, following the jury verdict in the case finding Sandusky guilty, Common Pleas Judge John M. Cleland issued a protective order limiting evidence in the case from being turned over to anyone outside the defense team.
The order was issued after a recording of a police interview with Matt Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky who claimed during the criminal trial that he also had been abused, was released to NBC News. It was broadcast on "The Today Show" on June 26, 2012.
Prosecutors said there were only three copies of the recording, and that one had been turned over to lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola, who, in turn, provided it to his co-counsel Mr. Rominger.
During the June 2012 hearing, both defense attorneys agreed to a broad protective order that required no material provided by the commonwealth during the trial be turned over to anyone outside the defense team. They also agreed to provide to the court an inventory of all materials that had been provided to them and to whom they had distributed it.
According to a motion by the attorney general's office filed last week, Mr. Amendola did provide such a list to the court.
However, Mr. Rominger did not and instead appealed the decision.
The order was affirmed by the state Superior Court, and the state Supreme Court refused to hear the matter.
In the motion, chief deputy attorney general James P. Barker noted that Mr. Rominger failed to file a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court within the required 90-day time period following the rejection.
Therefore, Mr. Barker wrote, he is now asking Judge Cleland to require Mr. Rominger to comply with the original order from 2012.
Judge Cleland gave Mr. Rominger until May 1 to file an answer in the matter.
The judge set a hearing, if one is required, for May 15 in Bellefonte, Centre County.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.