Defense appeals a judge's order on evidence in Jerry Sandusky case

Jerry Sandusky (right) and lawyer Joseph Amendola. Sandusky's defense is appealing an order on nonpublic evidence. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer )
Jerry Sandusky (right) and lawyer Joseph Amendola. Sandusky's defense is appealing an order on nonpublic evidence. DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer ) (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer ))
Posted: July 14, 2012

A defense lawyer in the Jerry Sandusky case has appealed the trial judge's order requiring the defense to identify who was provided access to evidence that was not made public in the trial.

Senior Judge John M. Cleland issued his order on June 26 after the state Attorney General's Office complained in a telephone hearing about leaks to reporters, said Karl E. Rominger, the lawyer who filed the appeal.

"Everybody agreed that a protection order would be fine," Rominger said.

But Cleland overstepped his authority, Rominger said, when he essentially made the order retroactive.

Before the order, there was no prohibition on the use of material shared by prosecutors in the discovery process.

Revealing whom the defense attorneys had contact with would be a breach of confidentiality, such as how the lawyers formulated their defense strategy, Rominger said.

Rominger also said the court was wrong to impose the order on the defense and not the prosecution.

Cleland wrote that the order was necessary "to assure the integrity of ongoing criminal investigations, to protect the privacy of victims who testified in the criminal trial, and to protect the privacy of others who may testify, or who have testified, before the Investigating Grand Jury."

Rominger said that since Cleland did not specify that anything would be filed under a seal of confidentiality, he was concerned that what the defense might be forced to turn over could eventually become public.

Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator under former Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted on June 22 by a Centre County jury of 45 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 boys, many of whom were abused on the university's campus.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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