'Highly incriminating' evidence: Judge unseals transcript of meeting involving attorneys in Jerry Sandusky trial

Centre Daily TimesAugust 15, 2012 

Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky case had a "great deal" of "highly incriminating" evidence they didn't use at his trial.

That's according to what a prosecutor told the judges overseeing the Sandusky case and the grand jury investigation late in June as they were discussing how secret materials were leaked to the media.

The transcript of the hearing June 26 with Judges John Cleland and Barry Feudale, prosecutors Frank Fina and Joseph E. McGettigan III, and defense attorneys Joe Amendola and Karl Rominger was unsealed this morning by Cleland.

Fina called the meeting to discuss his concerns about a recorded interview police had with Matt Sandusky that was leaked to the media during the trial.

Fina asked for a protective order covering the ongoing nature of the case, the unnamed victims in the case and "integrity of the process," he told them.

"It's not in the interest of Mr. Sandusky to have, you know, additional incriminating information being revealed to the public," he said. "I'm about incriminating information beyond that which was presented during the trial. There's a great deal of that in the discovery - evidence that, for a variety of reasons, the commonwealth did not utilize but that was highly incriminating of Mr. Sandusky."

Fina didn't elaborate on what the evidence was, aside from the interview Matt Sandusky had with police. According to the interview, Matt Sandusky told police his adopted father touched him inappropriately. That apparently goes against what he told a grand jury when called to testify.

The resolution to the media leaks issue was resolved with a protective order, and Judge Cleland asked the defense to give him, under oath, a list of everyone he shared discovery materials with. The grand jury judge made the same request of the prosecution.

Three copies of that recorded interview exist, according to the hearing transcript. One of those is with prosecutors, another with the defense, and another with the state police who conducted the interview.

The prosecutors and defense attorneys denied they shared the tape with NBC. Amendola told the judge the defense had no reason to share it because it could have hurt their case.

McGettigan, the lead prosecutor during the trial, jumped on that, saying Rominger had no reason to comment on the interview to NBC.

"Sometimes the best counter is silence," McGettigan said.Rominger told the attorneys and the judges that he had been asked by the media about emails from former Penn State President Graham Spanier and handwritten notes from former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

Nothing like that was introduced at trial, but notes Schultz made and emails among the three university leaders were released in the Louis Freeh report that blames them and Joe Paterno for concealing abuse allegations against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity.

"I find it fascinating that these media members can quote specifically out of those materials which are not in the public record which are grand jury material," Rominger said.

Fina said that was a "significant concern" as well and said Penn State also had copies of them. But Penn State having them is beyond his control, he said.

Penn State had refused to make them available, even to Spanier, who sued the university in an attempt to see his emails before meeting with Freeh's investigators.

Rominger is appealing the judge's order to share the defense's list of who got what discovery materials. He's arguing that it's a work product and they can't be made to turn it over.Sandusky, 68, remains in the Centre County Correctional Facility awaiting his sentencing. He was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of child abuse. Barring a successful appeal, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars in a state prison.

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