Jerry Sandusky's lawyers have been improperly issuing subpoenas and using them for a fishing expedition to aid his defense against child sex-abuse charges, prosecutors said in a court filing Friday.
The attorney general's office asked a judge to have the subpoenas withdrawn and to force Sandusky's lawyers to show how information they are seeking is relevant to the criminal case. Among their claims is that lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach sent subpoenas to police and others that improperly revealed the names of alleged victims.
"The commonwealth need not underscore to this honorable court the spectacular irresponsibility of treating secret information in that fashion,'' state prosecutors wrote.
Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola, citing a gag order in the case, declined to comment on the merits of the prosecution motion, but said he would respond in a court filing next week.
This is Amendola's full statement:
"We received a copy of the Commonwealth's Motion To Preclude Improper Use of Subpoena Power late this morning. Given Judge Cleland's April 9th Order, we feel it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the Commonwealth's Motion at this time other than to state we deny the allegations of improper use of subpoena power made by the Commonwealth in its Motion.
"We will review this Motion over the weekend and file a detailed response to the Motion next week."
Attached to the prosecution motion were examples of the subpoenas that provided a glimpse of defense strategy as the trial date nears. Jury selection is scheduled to begin at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte on June 5.
From the state police, Amendola sought copies of an accident report involving the young man described as "Victim 1" by the investigative grand jury, and any documents that the state police have provided to the Freeh Group, the firm hired by Penn State to look into the Sandusky matter.
Amendola asked Central Mountain School District superintendent Kelly Hastings for Victim 1's school records, IQ tests and investigative reports prepared by the Clinton County district's office of public safety "in regard to a complaint of harassment/stalking" that Victim 1 filed "wherein an investigation was conducted and the complaint determined to be 'unfounded.'"
He asked state Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway for unemployment, unemployment fraud and worker's compensation records for certain individuals, but their names were to have been redacted in the copy posted on the court's Sandusky case website.
The defense lawyer also subpoenaed Steve Shelow, director of Penn State University Police Services, for various records pertaining to eight of Sandusky's 10 alleged victims.
He also asked Shelow for audio and video recordings made during a 1998 investigation that began when a mother complained that her son had showered with Sandusky. Amendola's letter to Shelow said the '98 investigation had been reclassified from an "incident investigation" to an "administrative file," and the defense wants to know who made that decision.
Amendola asked Shelow for directives from Penn State's board, president or other officials "that mandated/directed the 1998 Sandusky investigation be handled in any particular manner/fashion by the PSU police department." The 1998 investigation was closed without charges being filed, but the boy in that matter is one of the alleged victims in the current case.
Sandusky faces 52 charges for alleged sexual abuse of boys over 15 years. He is confined to his home in State College while awaiting trial and maintains his innocence.