Jerry Sandusky trial judge seals prosecution filing that identifies alleged victims

State College - Centre Daily TimesMay 9, 2012 

A prosecutor in the Jerry Sandusky case “inadvertently” released the names of some alleged victims in a document posted but then removed from Centre County’s website.

The filing included lists of more than 200 discovery materials the prosecution turned over to defense attorney Joe Amendola. The document in its entirety — about 40 pages — was posted to the site Monday afternoon but taken offline a few hours later as ordered by the judge.

It was refiled Tuesday, and the judge overseeing the case approved keeping the lists sealed from public disclosure.

In separate matters, attorneys for several state departments filed motions to quash defense subpoenas. That’s expected to be addressed at a hearing this afternoon.

Prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach wrote in a filing Tuesday that the original document “inadvertently contains a number of names of individuals associated with the investigation of this matter, including information which was inadvertently published in contravention of this court’s order of March 13, 2012.”

The March order prohibits the disclosure of the names of people listed in subpoenas.

Along with the names of some alleged victims, the materials that were mistakenly posted include school records for some of the alleged victims; travel records to Penn State bowl games; transcriptions of telephone calls; an interview with former head football coach Joe Paterno on Oct. 24, 2011; copies of posts made to websites about rumors regarding the alleged abuse; various phone numbers; Second Mile travel records; Mike McQueary’s handwritten statement; and copies of items seized from Sandusky’s home when it was searched last June.

Philadelphia attorney Mike Boni, who’s representing alleged victim No. 1, wasn’t upset with the prosecution. He said he’s satisfied they’ve kept the young men’s privacy in mind throughout the process.

“The prosecution is extremely busy trying to fend off what seems to be a ridiculously blunderbuss array of discovery requests by the defense,” Boni said.

While Senior Judge John Cleland granted the Attorney General’s Office request to seal materials, the judge denied requests by three state departments to seal motions to quash subpoenas they received from the defense that sought information they argued may lead to the identification of the young men.

Amendola sought records such as criminal histories, mental health reports, and unemployment claims from the departments of Public Welfare, Corrections, and Labor and Industry.

The departments’ attorneys argued the subpoenas amount to a “fishing expedition” for a broad range of records that are confidential. The departments are now asking Cleland to deny the subpoenas or review them in his chambers.

The defense also subpoenaed State College psychologist Alycia Chambers for records including the evaluations of her client, alleged victim No. 6. Her attorney argued the records are privileged information and asked the judge to deny the subpoena.

These defense subpoenas will be the subject of a court hearing today at 1:30 p.m. in the main courtroom. The Keystone Central School District was the first to object to a subpoena, and since then, other local school districts, The Second Mile, Juniata College, and Centre and Clinton counties’ child welfare agencies have all joined the chorus objecting to the defense’s attempts to get information about the young men as Sandusky readies for trial.

Cleland is expected to hear arguments individually. Sandusky will not appear. State College attorneys Justine Andronici and Andrew Shubin, who represent multiple alleged victims, said the defense is trying divert attention away from the alleged abuse with the subpoena requests.

“This case is about what Sandusky did when he chose to abuse children, not about IQs and report cards,” they said in a statement. “The victims we are working with are grateful that so many school districts and other groups have stepped up to argue to protect their privacy and confidential records.”

Also Tuesday, the judge approved the prosecution’s request to change the date of the allegation involving alleged victim No. 2 from March 1, 2002, to Feb. 9, 2001. The prosecution said the ongoing investigation revealed that date. The list of now-sealed discovery materials indicates 19 pages of emails from Feb. 12, 2001, to June 5, 2001, were turned over to the defense. Feb. 12, 2001, was the Monday after Feb. 9, 2001, a Friday.

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