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Sandusky wins access to accusers’ information

HARRISBURG, Pa. — 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.

The Sandusky case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-2011.

Expenses covered

Also Tuesday, Penn State said it will reimburse legal expenses of employees who received subpoenas from state attorneys prosecuting the child sex abuse case against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The university suggested that those who received subpoenas retain their own attorneys, saying fees would be paid out of a university insurance policy. It was unclear how many people were served with subpoenas last week.

Trustees have also asked former FBI director Louis Freeh to lead a separate internal investigation. A report could be issued by this fall.

The trustees said Tuesday that the board could review the report to ensure that important areas were investigated and there were no factual gaps, but it would be solely the work of Freeh’s team and would not be edited by anyone else.

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