Sandusky Judge: AG Must Turn Over Accuser Contacts

March 20, 2012 - 2:08 PM
Penn State Abuse

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania prosecutors were ordered Tuesday to turn over to Jerry Sandusky's lawyer the phone numbers and addresses of those who have accused the former Penn State assistant football coach of sexually abusing them as children. That includes their phone numbers and addresses back when the crimes are alleged to have occurred.

It was a pretrial win for Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola, who argued in a filing late last week that it would be very difficult for defense investigators to locate and try to interview them without first getting contact information from prosecutors.

The order by Judge John Cleland could also lead to the prosecution turning over any psychological evaluations performed on the accusers, but the attorney general's office was given another week to try and persuade him they are protected by legal privilege and not subject to disclosure.

The psychological evaluations would be produced under seal, and Amendola would not be allowed to do more than read them without getting the judge's prior approval.

Amendola is specifically seeking a psychologist's report related to a person described as Victim 6 in a grand jury report, saying he believes it contains a conclusion that Sandusky did not sexually abuse the boy. The grand jury said Victim 6's mother complained to authorities after he showered with Sandusky in 1998. The subsequent investigation by Penn State police did not result in any charges.

Cleland required prosecutors to disclose any juvenile adjudication records that might help Amendola attack the credibility of any witness the state plans to call at trial.

That does not apply to drug or alcohol violations, however, and Amendola had argued that several accusers used drugs and alcohol as juveniles, which he said might affect their ability to testify accurately.

Cleland's order said requests for grand jury information must first be made to the judge who oversees the secret panel. If that judge says grand jury secrecy prevents their release, Cleland said he intends to abide by that decision. Otherwise, Cleland said, he will reconsider Amendola's request.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the latest filing. Phone and email messages for Amendola were not immediately returned.

Sandusky, 68, awaits a scheduled mid-May start of trial on 52 criminal counts. Prosecutors allege he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years, charges Sandusky has repeatedly denied.

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