Judge rules in favor of Sandusky's attorney
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The judge presiding over the criminal case of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky today ruled in favor of Mr. Sandusky's defense attorney, who argued in a motion that he did nothing inappropriate in filing subpoenas related to the case.
The ruling from McKean County Senior Judge John M. Cleland came about four hours after Mr. Sandusky's attorney, Joseph Amendola, filed a motion in Centre County Court in response to motions filed by prosecutors from the state attorney general's office.
Mr. Sandusky is charged with abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Trial is scheduled for June 5.
In a motion filed last week, the state attorney general's office accused Mr. Amendola of revealing the names of the 10 alleged victims in subpoenas issued to a number of entities, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the state Department of Labor and local school districts.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan asked Judge Cleland to restrict Mr. Amendola's use of subpoenas, and the judge has scheduled a hearing on the issue on Wednesday.
However, in his 18-page response, Mr. Amendola denied any wrongdoing, and further alleged that the prosecution doesn't have standing to challenge the subpoenas. Instead, that right belongs only to the entities receiving them, he wrote.
Mr. Amendola said it was "absolutely necessary" to reveal the names and dates of birth of the alleged victims in his subpoenas. He also claimed to follow Judge Cleland's order by making sure those receiving the subpoenas knew that the names were to remain protected by including a copy of the court's order.
"The defendant, his counsel, and the rest of his defense team have taken every reasonable step possible to maintain the anonymity of the accusers... despite the fact that, with [them] now all being adults, the defendant believes his efforts to maintain their anonymity was not legally required but done as a courtesy to the commonwealth and at the direction of the court."
As far as the breadth and scope of the records he is seeking in the subpoenas, Mr. Amendola claims they are necessary because the attorney general's office has repeatedly withheld discovery from the defense.
Among the items being sought in the subpoenas in question are school and mental health records, as well as police investigation reports. All of those, the defense claims, may help challenge the credibility of the alleged victims.
Following the filing of Mr. Amendola's motion, Judge Cleland issued an order telling the commonwealth to turn over discovery as previously required, and said that any additional questions on the matter will be discussed at the hearing on Wednesday.
First Published May 3, 2012 2:44 pm