Ex-Penn State counsel draws defense lawyers’ scorn

Posted: November 03, 2012

Attorneys for two former Pennsylvania State University administrators charged in the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal on Friday accused a key witness of violating her professional ethics when she testified before a grand jury against their clients.

Signaling a potential defense strategy, lawyers Caroline Roberto and Thomas J. Farrell said that former university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she helped prosecutors build the case against suspended Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and the university's former vice president, Gary Schultz.

Baldwin's lawyer, Charles De Monaco, disputed that, saying his client had an "impeccable reputation" and "the highest integrity."

"The suggestion by anyone that Ms. Baldwin betrayed her clients and her profession or testified falsely is untrue," he said.

Curley and Schultz were arraigned on new charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and child endangerment Friday at a hearing in a Dauphin County magistrate court.

Last year, prosecutors accused the two of ignoring abuse allegations against Sandusky in 2001, and then later lying to the grand jury about what they knew.

The case against them was expanded Thursday. The men now stand charged with engaging in a conspiracy with former university president Graham B. Spanier to cover up Sandusky's crimes. Spanier was charged in the case Thursday as well.

Curley and Schultz have said they thought Baldwin represented them when they testified in January 2011 before a grand jury investigating allegations against Sandusky. Sandusky was ultimately charged and convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Typically, conversations between lawyers and their clients are considered privileged by the courts.

So, Roberto said Friday, it was a surprise to learn that Baldwin had become a key witness in prosecutors' new case against the administrators.

In dual motions filed Friday, she and Farrell, Schultz's lawyer, argued their clients' grand jury testimony should be suppressed at their trial.

"We were stunned, we were flabbergasted," she said.

Baldwin has maintained that she never represented either administrator and sat in on the normally secret proceedings on behalf of Penn State.

Curley and Schultz said little during Friday's hearing as Judge William C. Wenner read out the new charges. Both left immediately after on $50,000 unsecured bonds.

Spanier, who has denied the allegations against him, is to be arraigned Wednesday. All three face preliminary hearings Nov. 12.

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

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