BELLEFONTE, Pa — As the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case nears jury selection June 5, some of his attorneys requests for materials to build a defense apparently are getting closer to being resolved.
Joe Amendola told Senior Judge John Cleland on Wednesday during a hearing that all his current requests have been satisfied. There are likely more discovery requests to come from Amendola from new materials hes received, but that seems to be in keeping with the pace set by Cleland. The judge has said he wants to keep the trial on track to start in a few weeks.
But Amendola did ask for a delay in the trial, telling the judge in filings Wednesday that his investigators need time to find potential witnesses who became known through recent discovery materials from the prosecution. Amendola didnt say how much time hed like, but he indicated he doesnt think Sandusky can get a fair trial unless two former Penn State administrators can testify.
Former athletic director Tim Curley and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz have been charged in Dauphin County with perjury and failing to report abuse. Their attorneys have told the Sandusky defense that the men will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights not to testify if called as witnesses for Sanduskys defense.
The hearing Wednesday focused on objections to subpoenas sent out by the defense, but was largely uneventful without startling revelations or a war of words from the attorneys at a press conference afterward since Cleland issued a gag order in the case.
During the afternoon hearing in the Centre County Courthouse, attorneys from a number of school districts, state departments and institutions argued the judge should throw out the subpoenas mainly on the grounds the information requested isnt disclosable under privacy laws. They argued individually.
Cleland did not rule Wednesday after the 90-plus-minute hearing, which Sandusky did not attend. The judge did say hed likely throw out some parts of the subpoenas and will black-out information the defense cant have. Hell review other items in his chamber to see if the defense should have access to them.
Amendola found out Wednesday that some of the records he sought with the subpoenas for building his defense to discredit the alleged victims dont exist. Amendola was also pressed by Cleland What do you really want? Cleland asked with a smile, referencing the subpoena to the Keystone Central School District that sought IQ tests, grade reports, attendance records and psychological evaluations the district said were confidential and irrelevant to the case.
Amendola was straightforward: Any evidence that these students suffered from behavioral issues, mental health issues, prior to their contact with The Second Mile and the defendant. Amendola is expected to try to raise doubt about the young mens credibility at trial. Cleland didnt say a word about the defenses motion to delay the trial, in which Amendola said he cant adequately prepare for trial without more time.
In the filing, Amendola outlined his reasons that cited recent discovery materials that have made the defense aware of new potential witnesses and the criminal case against Curley and Schultz. The potential witnesses will need to be located and interviewed by his investigators, he wrote. And he maintained that Sandusky wont get a fair trial without the testimony of Curley and Schultz. In a separate filings Wednesday, defense co-counsel Karl Rominger is asking that all documents, things, and testimony related to the grand jury be released and he asked for an earlier release of grand jury testimony. Previously, the defense was set to get the testimony of witnesses 10 days before trial.
Wednesdays hearing also included:
Second Mile attorney Howard Rosenthal, who said some records the defense is requesting actually cant be released because of other subpoenas the charity has received. Further, he said two alleged victims, Nos. 3 and 7, object to the defense getting charity records, but he didnt elaborate on why. Rosenthal also argued some of the records arent relevant to the case, such as a list of people invited to Sanduskys retirement dinner and the charitys third-party review of its policies.
Attorneys for Bald Eagle Area, Mifflin County and Keystone Central school districts, who said theyd have the judge review some records in his chambers while arguing that others are privileged. They maintain some are irrelevant to the case.
The attorney representing State College psychologist Alycia Chambers, who said records on Chambers client, alleged victim No. 6, dont exist anymore because theyve been destroyed. Guy Brooks told the judge theyd have been privileged documents anyway.
Brooks was furious, though, that the report Chambers wrote to Penn State police investigating Sandusky in 1998 surfaced online. It was part of the 1998 Penn State police investigative report leaked to the media in March.
The attorney for Juniata College said officials there declined to hire Sandusky as an assistant football coach in 2010 because the background check revealed he had been the subject of an investigation into child abuse at another school.