Saturday, June 13, 2020

Superior Court To Hear Sandusky's Argument For A New Trial

Kathleen McChesney
By Ralph Cipriano

The state Superior Court on Friday decided to hear arguments on Jerry Sandusky's bid for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence.

The court Friday gave Sandusky's lawyers 21 days to file a brief. The state Attorney General's office has 21 days after the Sandusky filing to file their response. "No extensions will be granted," the court declared in a docket entry.

"The motion for new trial on the ground of after-discovered evidence," along with a motion to dismiss the case against Sandusky are "DEFERRED for disposition to the panel of this Court to be assigned to decide the merits of the appeal," the court stated in a docket entry.

The motion for a new trial is based on newly discovered evidence that includes a 79-page diary kept by former FBI Special Agent Kathleen McChesney back in 2011 and 2012, when she was the co-leader of a supposedly independent investigation of the Penn State sex abuse scandal as led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

In the diary, McChesney documented numerous leaks of grand jury secrets, as well as records that were emanating from the office of former Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina. The diary also documents that Fina held sway over Freeh's supposedly independent investigation, deciding which witness Freeh's investigators could talk to, and when.

In documents previously filed in state Superior Court, Sandusky's lawyers argued in a motion for a new trial that the collusion that existed between the AG and Freeh amounted to a "de facto joint investigation" that not only violated state law regarding grand jury secrecy, but also tainted one of the jurors who convicted Sandusky.

Sandusky, 76, was re-sentenced on appeal last November to serve 30 to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing ten boys, the same sentence he originally got after he was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts of sex abuse.

According to a Dec. 2, 2011, letter of engagement, Freeh was formally hired by Penn State to "perform an independent, full and complete investigation of the recently publicized allegation of sexual abuse."

But instead of an independent investigation, the confidential documents show that Freeh's investigators were  hopelessly intertwined with the AG's criminal investigation, tainting both probes. According to the confidential documents cited as newly discovered evidence by Sandusky's lawyers, the AG's office was supplying secret grand jury transcripts and information to Freeh's investigators; both sets of investigators were also trading information on common witnesses and collaborating on strategy.

Sandusky's motion for a new trial also claims that one of the jurors who convicted Sandusky in 2012 was tainted by the collusion between the AG's office and Freeh's investigators.

According to the motion for a new trial, "Juror 0990" was a Penn State faculty member who was interviewed by Freeh's investigators before she was sworn in as a juror at the Sandusky trial.

"At no time during this colloquy, or any other time, did the prosecution disclose that it was working in collaboration with the Freeh Group which interviewed the witness," lawyers Philip Lauer and Alexander Lindsay Jr. argue in the 31-page motion filed on Sandusky's behalf.

At jury selection, Joseph Amendola, Sandusky's trial lawyer, had no knowledge "about the degree of collaboration" ongoing between the AG's office and Freeh investigators, Sandusky's appeal lawyers wrote. Had he known, Amendola stated in an affidavit quoted in the motion for a new trial, Amendola would have "very likely stricken her for cause, or at a minimum, used one of my preemptory strikes to remove her as a potential juror."

Had he known the AG and Freeh Group were working in tandem, Amendola stated in an affidavit, he would have also quizzed all other potential jurors about any interaction with investigators from the Freeh Group. And he "would have sought discovery of all materials and statements obtained by the Freeh Group regarding the Penn State/Sandusky investigation."

Sandusky's lawyers could not be reached for comment.


  1. I don't want Sandusky "just" released I want the Prosecutors, Judges, and the News Reporters to all have to go to jail and serve the same amount of time that Mr Sandusky served, and if the new trial shows that the witnesses lied I want them all serve double the time Sandusky served!

  2. Sandusky may be innocent and he may be guilty, but he does deserve a fair trial. There was nothing fair about the rush to judgment of not only the defendant, but his former Head Coach, as well as University officials. The Trustees were abysmal in their response which could not have been worse. It was a total circus.

  3. "The diary also documents that Fina held sway over Freeh's supposedly independent investigation, deciding which witness Freeh's investigators could talk to, and when."

    This correlates with page 12 of the Freeh report, which states they didn't interview Mike McQeary at the request of the AG.

  4. I hope this appeal gains traction and that there are evidentiary hearings with Kathleen McChesney, Louis Freeh, Frank Fina, Jonelle Eshbach, Joe McGettigan, Judge Cleland and others. I hope that Sandusky’s defense gets access to the Freeh Report source materials. If they do, there should be no doubt that Sandusky deserves a new trial. If Sandusky gets a new trial land the trial is anywhere close to being fair then it should be a slam dunk for an exoneration. I hope that all of the bad actors who committed prosecutorial misconduct are held to account.

  5. The Atlantic posted this on Instagram by journalist Helen Lewis. This speaks to journalists who run with the prosecution "facts"regardless of their accuracy.

    When journalism techniques are used to disseminate falsehoods, what is little more than a conspiracy theory can begin to masquerade as the news, Helen Lewis writes. The line between fact and fiction further blurs when other media outlets refuse to follow up on the inaccuracies.⁠

    “We could call this Potemkin journalism, after the villages consisting only of external facades designed to deceive outsiders. It looks like an investigation, but the conclusion is already determined, and any inconvenient facts are quickly airbrushed,” Lewis writes. ⁠⁠

    It’s tempting to say Potemkin journalism can flourish because trust in the media is so low. But that is only partly right. These stories also satisfy “a popular hunger for vivid tales of villains and victims, at the exact same time that the news industry is struggling financially and traditional, intensive, shoe-leather reporting is starting to feel like a luxury,”

  6. To the general public, this is a "done deal". Sandusky is guilty and this is all just shenanigans. People don't want to hear about the proprietorial misconduct. Amazing that this was done and over with before any truth was sought. If Sandusky is innocent, God bless him and his family.


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.