Sandusky lawyer: Evidence is being withheld

File photo: Former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky is put in the back of a police car. (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Andy Colwell)
File photo: Former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky is put in the back of a police car. (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Andy Colwell)
Posted: February 07, 2012

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer says prosecutors have redacted or withheld hundreds of pages of evidence in the child sex-abuse case against the former football coach, including records that could help show Sandusky's accusers colluded against him.

In a motion filed in Centre County, lawyer Joseph Amendola asked a judge to order the state attorney general's office to turn over or release more details on dozens of police reports, psychiatric evaluations, interview notes and other material gathered during the three-year investigation.

The request wasn't unusual: Defense lawyers routinely clash with prosecutors over what evidence they get and how quickly they get it.

But the 37-page motion, made public on Tuesday, offered an unusual glimpse of the scope of the investigation against Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator to Joe Paterno at Pennsylvania State University.

Amendola's filing cited hundreds of grand jury subpoenas, dozens of police reports, and at least 1,4000 photos investigators seized during the probe. It referenced one subpoena that sought records of all reported child abuse cases "within certain areas" of the state during the years 1997, 1998 and 1999 - a span when Sandusky retired from Penn State to focus on the Second Mile, the charity he founded for underprivileged children.

Along with the filing, Amendola asked Senior Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Cleland to order prosecutors to disclose the telephone numbers of the young men who prosecutors say Sandusky abused between 1994 and 2008, so he can determine if they had contact with each other before or during the investigation.

"In many cases, the defendant believes the accusers may have collaborated with each other in making these false accusations," the motion said.

Sandusky's lawyer offered no proof of any collaboration, nor any indication that the redacted information he sought would exonerate the coach, who has denied the charges that he molested 10 boys.

Many of the requests outlined in the filing lacked context but had just enough detail to stoke new interest in the case.

For instance, Amendola asked for information from an interview that Karen Arnold, a former Centre County assistant district attorney, gave to investigators about her office's 1998 review of allegations that Sandusky abused a boy.

The filing says Arnold had "extensive disagreements" with her boss, former District Attorney Ray Gricar, over the case, but it doesn't elaborate.

Gricar's decision not to prosecute Sandusky is one of the unanswered questions in the case. The 1998 incident was cited in the November grand jury report that led to the current charges.

Gricar has been missing since 2005.

Arnold, who is no longer with the prosecutor's office, has not publicly discussed the Sandusky case, but has previously praised Gricar for his "ironclad ethics."

In his filing, Amendola also asked to see a report he said investigators prepared after an interview with Paterno. It doesn't say when they met with the coach or under what context.

Paterno told a grand jury that an assistant reported seeing Sandusky "fondling a young boy" in a locker room shower in 2002. Paterno reported the incident to two university administrators. He was fired in November and died last month.

The motion also asks for unredacted records of meetings between the accusers and psychologists, and details on a visit by investigators to a potential witness in state prison - without elaborating.

Amendola didn't respond to messages Tuesday seeking comment.

Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Attorney General Linda Kelly, said the office wouldn't comment on Amendola's requests before a pretrial hearing scheduled for Friday. "We will address that in court," he said.

At the same proceeding, Cleland is expected to consider prosecutors' request for an out-of-county jury and a bid by Sandusky to modify his bail.

After posting $250,000 bail, the coach was ordered to remain under house arrest and under electronic monitoring at his College Township home. Last month, he asked the judge to allow supervised visits with his friends and grandchildren, and to travel to meet with his lawyer and case investigators.

Prosecutors on Tuesday asked the judge to reject the request and in fact order Sandusky to stay inside his house. They said that neighbors and teachers at a nearby elementary school complained about seeing the former football coach standing outside his house watching kids play.

"House arrest is not meant to be a house party," Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach wrote. "In order to allay the genuine fears of the community, defendant should be confined to his house."


Contact staff writer Jeremy Roebuck at 267-564-5218, jroebuck@phillynews.com, or @jeremyrroebuck on Twitter.

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