Prosecutors: Sandusky's lawyer improperly revealed names of alleged sex-abuse victims

Joseph Amendola denied he had done anything improper.
Joseph Amendola denied he had done anything improper.
Posted: April 28, 2012

Jerry Sandusky's attorney, in subpoenas to at least four state and local agencies, improperly revealed the names of his client's purported sex-abuse victims and demanded access to information that a judge had already denied him, state prosecutors alleged Friday.

In a motion filed in Centre County Court, the Attorney General's Office said Joseph Amendola released the names of the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach's eight known accusers in a set of subpoenas sent between April 10 and 19, despite a court order barring him from doing so.

The subpoenas also requested that the agencies hand over documents that Judge John M. Cleland had ruled were either subject to grand jury privilege or could only be viewed in his chambers.

Among the documents Amendola sought were full and unredacted investigative files and psychological reports on Sandusky's accusers.

"This use of the subpoena power by the defendant is manifestly improper, lacks any basis whatsoever in the law ... and is a misappropriation of the authority of this honorable court," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan wrote in filings Friday.

He asked the court to rule the four subpoenas unenforceable and to bar Amendola from issuing any more without the court's approval.

Amendola declined to comment on the prosecution's claims, citing a gag order, but denied he had done anything improper.

He said he planned to file a detailed response next week.

In their filing, prosecutors provided copies of subpoenas sent to the state police, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Pennsylvania State University Police Department, and the Central Mountain School District in Lock Haven, Pa., where one of Sandusky's accusers attended school.

Each orders the recipient to appear in court at a May 16 hearing ready to testify or to bring the documents requested to Amendola's office prior to that hearing.

McGettigan argued that Amendola purposefully presented that option, hoping the agencies would take the latter choice to avoid testifying.

But the hearing referenced in the subpoenas is scheduled as a status conference in which no witness testimony will be taken, McGettigan said in his filings.

In at least three of the subpoenas, Amendola provided the alleged victims' names directly to the agencies - attaching a list in a sealed envelope in one case and printing one accuser's name directly in another. In the third, the attorney asked on one page that someone at the agency contact him directly for the purported victims' names, while listing them anyway on another page.

Each subpoena included a copy of Cleland's March 13 order that all the accusers' names be kept under court seal.

Prosecutors redacted the names in the copies of Amendola's subpoenas filed with their motion Friday.

Among the items sought from the state police were the unredacted investigative file on Sandusky, and any prior reports on the purported victims, as well as any documents handed over to former FBI director Louis Freeh, who is conducting an independent investigation into Penn State's knowledge of Sandusky's purported crimes.

Cleland has previously exempted certain state police records from the normal discovery process, citing an ongoing grand jury investigation.

From Central Mountain School District, Amendola requested school records including IQ testing, disciplinary reports, grades, and psychological diagnoses for a boy prosecutors have identified only as Victim 1. His complaints about Sandusky launched the attorney general's three-year grand jury probe in 2008.

The Penn State Police Department was asked to hand over the full 1998 police report conducted into allegations that Sandusky had inappropriately touched a 11-year-old while showering with him on campus.

While the case was closed without charges being filed, the findings included reports from two psychologists that Cleland has already said could only be reviewed in his chambers, due to concerns of the purported victims' privacy.

The subpoena sent to the Department of Labor focused on worker compensation claims for a number of employees whose names have been redacted in the copy provided by prosecutors Friday.

Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of child sexual abuse stemming from allegations that he molested at least 10 boys over a 15-year period.

His trial is set to begin June 5.


Contact Jeremy Roebuck

at 267-564-5218 or jroebuck@phillynews.com,

or follow on Twitter @jeremyrroebuck.

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