Friday, June 18, 2021

One More Time: Sandusky's Lawyers Again Target Frank Fina

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net 

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers are back in court again seeking an evidentiary hearing so they can question former chief deputy attorney general Frank Fina about multiple grand jury leaks and highly credible evidence of collusion. 

The allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against noted bad actor Fina and the A.G.'s office are highly credible because they are documented in an extremely unusual source -- a 79-page diary written contemporaneously in 2011 and 2012 by decorated former FBI Agent Kathleen McChesney, who's famous for her work in capturing serial killer Ted Bundy. 

But in the Sandusky case, his lawyers want to question McChesney about her role as co-leader of the civil investigation at Penn State led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. Sandusky's lawyers also want McChesney to testify in court so that she can authenticate her diary.

The requests from Sandusky's lawyers are outlined in a 28-page motion for a new trial filed Monday in state Superior Court that's based on new evidence discovered post-trial after Sandusky's 2012 conviction. The appeals court is already familiar with the McChesney diary, as it was the basis for a previous motion for a new trial filed on May 9, 2020 by Sandusky's lawyers, along with a request for an evidentiary hearing. 

But a year later, on May 13, 2021, the state Superior Court denied that motion, ruling that Sandusky's lawyers did not file their appeal in a timely fashion. Instead, the state Superior Court ripped Sandusky's lawyers, saying that they "dithered for one-half a year" before bringing the newly discovered evidence to the court's attention.

Undaunted, Sandusky's lawyers, Philip Lauer of Easton and Alexander Lindsay of Butler, have filed a new application to reargue their appeal in state Superior Court. In their motion for a new trial filed Monday, Sandusky's lawyers are also asking the state Superior Court to once again remand their request for an evidentiary hearing to the Centre County Common Pleas Court. 

Centre County Common Pleas Court is the place where Sandusky was re-sentenced in 2019 to 30 to 60 years in jail after his original conviction on 45 counts of child sex abuse was overturned by the state Superior Court on procedural grounds, because mandatory minimum sentences were illegally imposed by trial Judge John Cleland.

In re-sentencing Sandusky, Judge Maureen Skerda gave the defendant the exact same original sentence that he got at his trial, only this time around they cleaned up the paperwork. 

Sandusky's latest appeal for a new trial is definitely the longest of long shots in Pennsylvania where both the state attorney general's office and the judiciary seem intent on continuing a highly successful cover up, hoping no doubt that the 77 year-old Sandusky dies in jail before he ever gets his day in court. 

But the issues raised in the 28-page motion concern serious allegations of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of noted bad actor Frank Fina and the A.G.'s office, as well as new accusations of what Sandusky's lawyers claim is unethical behavior by a couple of plaintiff's lawyers who represented Sandusky's alleged victims.  

These allegations aren't going away, even if the mainstream media continues to ignore them, in an effort to pave over its own horrific malpractice in covering the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal, and steadfastly refusing to take a second look at what amounts to a toxic waste dump. 

If state judges continue to circle the wagons, Sandusky's last resort, if he lives long enough, may be in federal court, where the odds are better of finding a judge familiar with the U.S. Constitution. 

But in the meantime, here are the issues raised by Sandusky's lawyers in their latest appeal:

Collusion between the A.G. and Freeh Group

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers say they want to question Frank Fina about "the specific entries in the McChesney diary referring to him." Those entries include several alleged instances of Fina and others in the A.G.'s office leaking grand jury secrets as well as confidential documents to Freeh's investigators.

The criminal investigation of Sandusky conducted by the state attorney general's office and the civil investigation done by former FBI Director Freeh, which cost Penn State $8.3 million, were supposed to be separate and independent inquiries. 

But that's not the story that's told in the McChesney diary, and other newly discovered evidence, Sandusky's lawyers say. They are referring to grand jury leaks and "close communications" between the A.G. and Freeh's office, as outlined in emails.

"These communications indicated that the investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General and the investigation of the Freeh group were a de facto joint investigation," Sandusky's lawyers write.

For example, on March 7, 2012, McChesney wrote that the Freeh Group continued to be in "close communications with AG and USA," as in the U. S. Attorney. According to McChesney's diary, members of the Freeh Group "don't want to interfere with their investigations."

In the diary, McChesney writes that she and her colleagues were being "extremely cautious & running certain interviews by them." McChesney wrote that the Freeh Group "asked [Deputy Attorney General Frank] Fina to authorize some interviews." And that the AG's office "asked us to stay away from some people, ex janitors, but can interview" people from the Second Mile."

According to McChesney's diary, Fina was actively involved in directing the Freeh Group's investigation, to the point of saying if and when they could interview certain witnesses. 

McChesney recorded that the Freeh Group was going to notify Fina that they wanted to interview Ronald Schreffler, the investigator from Penn State Police who probed a previous 1998 shower incident involving Sandusky and a young boy. 

After he was notified, McChesney wrote, "Fina approved interview with Schreffler."

According to McChesney's diary, the A.G.'s office also conveniently supplied Freeh with a copy of Schreffer's confidential police report, a document that Freeh was not entitled to see. But it always helps to have a friend in the A.G.'s office.

Besides asking Fina about the McChesney diary, Sandusky's lawyers wrote, they also want to question Fina "concerning any interactions between himself and the Office of Attorney General with any attorneys representing any accusers of Mr. Sandusky, including the number of such contacts, the frequency of same, the nature of the discussions held, and who participated in any such contacts."

After all, all of these folks were playing on the same team. 

An overzealous prosecutor

Fina, as I've mentioned previously, has already been proven to be a bad actor in the Penn State case. In 2019, the disciplinary board of the state Supreme Court recommended a suspension of Fina's law license for  a year and a day for "reprehensible" and "inexcusable" conduct. That suspension was approved on Feb. 19, 2020 by a 5-1 vote by the justices on the state's highest court.

Fina, the disciplinary board said, was found guilty of purposely duping a grand jury judge into believing that the deputy attorney general wasn't going to press Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State's former counsel, into breaking the attorney-client privilege behind closed doors. But that's just what Baldwin did by betraying three top Penn State officials who at the time were her clients.

The disciplinary board found that Fina deliberately conned the gullible grand jury judge behind closed doors. Fina then "proceeded to question [Baldwin] extensively about the very subjects he represented to Judge [Barry] Feudale he would avoid," the disciplinary board concluded. 

By threatening Baldwin with indictment, Fina flipped Baldwin, turning her into a cooperator who testified in the grand jury against her own clients, without bothering to notify them of her betrayal. 

The disciplinary board concluded that Fina was an "overzealous prosecutor" whose actions with Baldwin were "nothing but intentional and calculated." And when confronted about his misconduct, the disciplinary board said, Fina arrogantly showed no remorse. 

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers claimed that post-trial they had discovered "evidence establishing that there were ongoing contacts between the Freeh investigation and the grand jury during the proceedings involving this defendant, and that those contacts had an impact on jury selection in the trial in this case." 

"Among the evidence presented in the previous motion were a diary of meetings in the Freeh investigation, [and] emails between Freeh Group members, indicating that there were substantial communications between the Office of Attorney General and the Freeh group," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

Those communications "clearly indicated that the Freeh group and the Attorney General’s Office were assisting each other’s investigations by sharing information," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "That is, the Office of Attorney General was providing information to the Freeh group during its investigation and the Freeh group was providing information to the Office of Attorney General."

According to Sandusky's lawyers, those "communications would be in direct violation of grand jury secrecy rules, and would subject the participants in the Attorney General’s office to sanctions."

Allegations of jury tampering at the Sandusky trial

The motion for a new trial also discusses possible jury tampering because of Freeh's interview with a Penn state faculty member who was subsequently chosen to be a juror at the Sandusky trial. 

During jury selection on June 6, 2012, the juror in question, identified in the motion for a new trial as "Juror 0990," was asked by Joseph Amendola, Sandusky's trial lawyer, what she told Freeh's investigators. 

In an April 19, 2011 summary of that interview, the juror is identified by Freeh's investigators as Laura Pauley, a professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State. According to what Pauley told the court at the Sandusky trial, her interview with Freeh "was focused more on how the board of trustees interacts with the president," as well as "how faculty are interacting with the president and the board of trustees . . ." 

But in her interview with Freeh's investigators, contrary to what Pauley stated at the Sandusky trial, the subject matter she discussed with the Freeh Group went way beyond how the faculty at Penn State interacts with the president and board of trustees. 

According to Freeh's summary of that interview, Pauley revealed that she had already made her mind up about the Sandusky case, because she believed media reports that Sandusky was guilty. She also believed that top Penn State officials were guilty of covering up Sandusky's alleged sex crimes. This, of course, was before Sandusky or any of the top three Penn State administrators ever went on trial. 

In her interview with Freeh's investigators, Pauley stated that she was "an avid reader of the Centre Daily Times" and that she believed that the leadership at Penn State just "kicks the issue down the road."

"The PSU culture can best be described as people who do not want to resolve issues and want to avoid confrontation," Pauley told Freeh's investigators, according to their summary of the interview.

Pauley also stated that Penn State President Graham Spanier was "very controlling," and that "she feels that [former Penn State Athletic Director Tim] Curley and [former Penn State vice president Gary] Schultz are responsible for the scandal."

"She [Pauley] stated that she senses Curley and Schultz treated it [the scandal] the 'Penn State' way and were just moving on and hoping it would fade away," Freeh's investigators wrote.

Alleged coercive tactics on the part of the Freeh Group

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers cite a 113-page report leaked in 2019 that was written by seven minority members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, who accused Freeh's investigators of using coercive tactics on Penn State employees.

"Multiple individuals have approached us privately to tell us they were subjected to coercive tactics when interviewed by Freeh investigators," the trustees wrote. "Interviewers shouted, were insulting, and demanded that interviewees give them specific information (e.g. 'Tell me that Joe Paterno knew Sandusky was abusing kids!')." 

"Some interviewees were told they could not leave until they provided the information interviewers wanted, even when interviewees protested that this would require them to lie," the trustees wrote.

"Those who were currently employed by the University had been told their cooperation was a requirement for keeping their jobs, and therefore being called uncooperative was perceived as a threat against their employment," the trustees wrote. "One individual indicated that he was fired for failing to tell the interviewers what they wanted to hear; this is confirmed by a notation in the Freeh Group diary of an interviewee contemporaneously reporting his firing to the investigators." 

"It is deeply disturbing that members of our community were allegedly subjected to harassment and mistreatment at the hands of Freeh investigators," the trustees wrote. "Further, the use of coercion indicates a lack of neutrality on the part of investigators, and, as previously noted, increases the likelihood of inaccuracy" in the Freeh Report.

Affidavit of Sandusky's trial attorney

In an affidavit, Joseph Amendola, stated that at the Sandusky trial, he was completely in the dark about the synergy that existed between A.G.'s office and the Freeh Group.

"At no time during this colloquy [with the juror], or any other time, did the prosecution disclose that it was working in collaboration with the Freeh Group which interviewed this witness," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

"Had counsel for the defendant been aware that the potential juror had been subjected to an interview with what was, in effect, the Attorney General’s Office, his approach to jury selection would have been very different," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. 

In an affidavit, Joseph Amendola, Sandusky's trial lawyer, stated that "had it [the collaboration] been disclosed to me prior to or during jury selection that juror number 0990 had been subjected to questioning by the Freeh investigators who may have been acting in concert with representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, it is very likely I would have stricken her for cause or, at a minimum, used one of my peremptory strikes to remove her as a potential juror."

"Had it been disclosed to me prior to jury selection that representatives from the Office of Attorney General were collaborating with the Freeh investigators, I would have questioned each potential juror as to whether he or she had any interactions with the Freeh investigators prior to jury selection in Mr. Sandusky’s case," Amendola stated in his affidavit.

"Had I been informed by the prosecution prior to trial that they were working in concert with the Freeh Group representatives, I would have sought discovery of all statements and other related materials obtained by Freeh Group representatives regarding the Penn State/Sandusky investigation," Amendola stated in his affidavit.

In seeking an evidentiary hearing, Sandusky's lawyers say they want to know "the precise relationship between the Freeh investigation and the investigation conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, including taking the testimony of Louis Freeh, Kathleen McChesney, Gregory Paw, other persons involved in the Freeh investigation and Frank Fina, Joseph McGettigan, and Agents [Anthony] Sassano and [Randy] Feathers from the Attorney General’s Office."

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers seek through "the obtaining by subpoena [of] all of the source material of the Freeh Investigation which heretofore has been kept secret," thousands of pages of documents that have been kept under seal by a judge's order. 

Alleged prejudicial comments by the civil attorney for Victim No. 5

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers say they have "recently received information regarding actions taken by attorneys representing individuals who have accused defendant of abusing them. Based upon that information, defendant asserts herein that certain actions taken by said attorneys would likely have affected the court testimony presented by alleged victims, and may also have had a significant effect upon decisions made by the jury in this case."

On June 7, 2011, a state trooper interviewed alleged victim No. 5, referred to by Sandusky's lawyers by his initials, "MK." 

Michal Kajak, who got involved with Sandusky's Second Mile charity in 1996, initially claimed that he was sexually abused in the shower by Sandusky during the 1998 football season. According to Kajak's testimony at the Sandusky trial, he maintained that the shower incident occurred during the1998 football season in the East Area locker room, when Kajak was 10 years old. 

On November 30, 2011, an individual identified as “John Doe A” filed a civil proceeding against The Second Mile and Penn State University, after which Penn State forwarded the claim to its insurer, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association [PMA]. 

"On May 17, 2012, MK changed the date of alleged abuse to August, 2001, and the location was also changed to the Lasch Building locker room," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

"As noted below, by this time, Penn State’s settlement subcommittee had adopted criteria for consideration of settlements of civil claims in which claims beginning in 2001 and later would receive the highest settlement offers," Sandusky's lawyers. 

On July 12, 2016, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Penn State had agreed to pay $93 million to more than 30 of Sandusky's alleged accusers. In the same article, the newspaper reported that PMA was "challenging the assertion that it should cover these payments," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

"An expert hired by the company reported that: 'It appears as though Penn State made little effort, if any, to verify the credibility of the claims of the individuals.' ” 

This is an understatement, as I previously documented in a story headlined Easy Money at Penn State, which chronicles how the Penn State trustees passed out $118 million to 36 victims, with virtually no questions asked. 

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers state that Kajak was represented by "a highly respected and recognized civil attorney." According to Sandusky's lawyers, that attorney, who is not named in the motion, "made ongoing public statements expressing his opinions of the evidence" in the Sandusky case.

Kajak's attorney who appeared on TV was noted Philadelphia lawyer Tom Kline, who did not respond to a request for comment.

On Dec. 10, 2011, Sandusky's lawyers say, Kline commented on TV about what might happen at a preliminary hearing in the Sandusky case.

“You will see at this hearing many victims testifying about a pattern of conduct, which occurred over a long period of time and was predatory in nature," Kline said, according to Sandusky's lawyers.

When Sandusky's trial began on June 18, 2012, according to Sandusky's lawyers, Kine appeared on TV again and stated that he was not impressed by Sandusky's defense.

 “If this is what we are having to preview as to the strength of the defense, I am not overwhelmed, and I think it was really not a very strong beginning," Kline stated.

The next day, on June 19, 2012, Kline told the media that two defense witnesses did not do the defendant any favors. 

“There was an odd and bizarre attempt to convince the jury somehow that showering [with kids] is culturally accepted in this world. I don’t see how that takes anyone very far," Kline was quoted as saying.

On that same day, Kline also defended what Sandusky's lawyers described as "suggestive questioning of the accusers by law enforcement."

“I think it was perfectly appropriate for a trooper with a reluctant witness, an investigator with a reluctant witness, especially in the face of sex crimes that were done to children when they were young to suggest, look, you don’t want to talk about this, you should know you’re not alone," Kline said.

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers quote the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically Rule 3.6, as stating: 

“A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be [disseminated] by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.” 

"It is readily apparent that [Kline] had participated in the investigation of this matter, and had actually participated briefly in the litigation by filing in the criminal proceedings a motion to preserve the confidentiality of the identity of his client in those proceedings on May 29, 2012," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "Accordingly, his conduct was governed by that rule."

"It is clear that counsel commented multiple times on the credibility of witnesses, and made clear his opinion as to the guilt or innocence of appellant, in these recordings and in other statements made to media and/or publications," Sandusky's lawyers wrote about Kline.

"The propriety of counsel’s conduct in this matter is not the issue that must be addressed," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "Rather, the issue is whether, given the statements made by counsel, the violation of this rule, and the clear indication that, in a proceeding of this type, those violations 'are more likely than not to have a material prejudicial effect' on the proceeding," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

On Sept. 4, 2013, Kajak's claim against Penn State was settled for $8.1 million.

In their motion for an evidentiary hearing, Sandusky's lawyers seek to question Kline about "the nature and extent to which counsel for MK made statements to media or publications prior to, or during, appellant’s trial in these cases."

Sandusky's lawyers also want to question Kline about "The nature and extent to which counsel for MK participated in the investigation and preparation for the criminal proceedings in which [Sandusky] was defendant." 

Sandusky's lawyers also want to convene an evidentiary hearing to determine: "The precise relationship between the criminal investigation, the Freeh investigation, the settlement committee created by PSU, [and] the Office of Attorney General, and attorneys representing alleged victims," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

"It has been alleged by [Sandusky] in pretrial motions and thereafter that his accusers/alleged victims have communicated with each other throughout the course of the investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General, and that his accusers/alleged victims have changed their testimony over time in ways which would enhance their civil claims against Appellant, Penn State and others," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. 

"If, as previously alleged by defense counsel, the accusers/alleged victims communicated directly with each other, or through counsel, and if their description of what occurred, and where and when it occurred, was changed by them in ways which would enhance the value of their civil claims, and if their counsel tolerated or encouraged such changes, the evidence presented to the jury would have been false and misleading, and a new trial would be warranted," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

An alleged victim peddles a fictitious story of abuse to attorney Andrew Shubin

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers extensively quote A.J. Dillen, a witness who appeared on reporter John Ziegler's April 21st podcast, "With the Benefit of Hindsight."

Dillen was a former Second Mile participant who met with Andrew Shubin, a State College lawyer who represented nine alleged victims of Sandusky, and did not respond to a request for comment.

On the podcast, Dillen said he went to see Shubin "pretending to be a victim of Sandusky." According to Sandusky's lawyers, Dillen told Shubin "a fictitious story about being raped by Sandusky in the park area immediately behind Coach Joe Paterno’s house."

According to Dillen, over a three-year period, as he repeatedly met with attorney Shubin and a therapist, they refined Dillen's story of abuse so that Dillen would have a better shot at getting paid. 

"Dillen met with this attorney multiple times over a period of three years regarding his purported claim," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "During a number of these meetings, Dillen recorded what was being said with the consent of the attorney."

"In his second meeting with this 'victim,' while being recorded, the attorney read back a different story, changing the number of attacks, and the location of the attacks to the Penn State showers," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

 "He [Shubin] also stated that Dillen had reported the abuse to Penn State officials, who didn’t believe him," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "None of those new facts were stated by Dillen in the initial interview, and none were true, but all of them would increase the value of any civil proceeding on his behalf."

"Thereafter, the attorney referred him to a mental health counselor, who, according to Dillen, met with him approximately 100 times," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. "Dillen also recorded certain of the interactions with that counselor as well." 

"During his sessions with the counselor, a number of which were recorded, Dillen indicates that he was subjected repeatedly to repressed memory therapy, a process that the prosecution in this case denied using on alleged victims," Sandusky's lawyers write. 

In an evidentiary hearing, Sandusky's lawyers say they would like to question Shubin about "the nature and extent to which counsel for A.J. Dillen made changes to the information provided by Dillen, including changes to the location and nature of the abuse he claimed, and the nature and number of the occurrences of abuse."

Sandusky's lawyers also want to know: "The nature and extent to which counsel for A.J. Dillen made changes to the information provided by other accusers who had consulted with him, including changes to the location and nature of the abuse he claimed, and the nature and number of the occurrences of abuse."

And: "The extent to which counsel for A.J. Dillen shared the existence of any changes in any accuser’s reporting of alleged abuse" by Sandusky, his lawyers wrote.

Recovered memory issues resurface

Sandusky's lawyers noted that in previous appeals, the courts have accepted the testimony of therapists in the Sandusky case who denied using repressed memory therapy, which is banned in some states, and not accepted by other courts as evidence.

But "in treating A.J. Dillen," Sandusky's lawyers wrote, "the therapist at one point states: 

“We are talking about why you repressed or hid these memories. I think that people do repress memories and that people don’t really think there is a whole continuum of what that means. Sometimes it means they totally forget and it is not in their consciousness at all until something happens sometime in their life… "

"At this end of the continuum, the other side is knowing but not willing to think of it so putting it out of your mind, like what you do with anything unpleasant. But knowing it is there, just not focusing and then there are things in between. This over here on the end is repressed memory. I prefer to use the word disassociation - just means disconnect . . . There are all different ways we disconnect.”

According to Sandusky's lawyers, Dillen asked, “can people disconnect for years?”

“Yes, people can disconnect for years," the therapist replies, according to Sandusky's lawyers.

"They can disconnect from the knowledge, from what happened, they can disconnect from the feelings, from body sensations. Disassociation happens when you are in a situation that is beyond what is normal… A person can forget about it, and then something happens. A little like a light coming through a window can trigger the memory after years and years. And suddenly they are 'what the hell is happening…' ”. 

According to the podcast, Dillen told the therapist that he blamed himself for not remembering the abuse.

“You’re not crazy because you didn’t remember it," the therapist replied. "It’s the way we deal with overwhelming trauma… Psychological defenses… Kick in automatically. It’s part of your brain that deals with that (compartmentalization). When you’re young you tend to forget. I have talked to quite a few guys that were abused by Sandusky, and this is the case with most of them.”

"This therapist met with Dillen weekly for three years, and had him attending multiple group meetings, despite well-accepted principles, which will be articulated by Defendant’s expert witness, Dr. [Elizabeth] Loftus, to the effect that the combination of the suggestive questioning, the use of repressed memory methodology, and the presence of regular group meetings with others making similar claims," Sandusky's lawyers wrote. 

"As a result of the foregoing, the trial court should be given the opportunity to hear testimony and evidence on the allegations set forth herein, listen to the podcast referenced herein, and determine whether PCRA relief was improperly denied and should now be granted, whether any of the accusers subjected to repressed memory should be deemed incompetent to testify . . . and whether a new trial should be granted based on this after discovered evidence," Sandusky's lawyers wrote.

The subject of the use of recovered memory therapy at the Sandusky trial was the subject of The Most Hated Man In America; Jery Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment, a 2017 book written by Mark Pendergrast, which was excerpted on bigtrial.net.

Finally, the Honorable Senior Judge John C. Cleland 

No investigation into the legal travesty that was the Sandusky case would be complete without interviewing Judge John Cleland, who presided over the media circus known as the Sandusky trial, which attracted 240 reporters and 10 TV trucks. 

Nine years later, I'm the only reporter left in North America who thinks the Sandusky case might still be a story. Especially since the first time around, they may have gotten everything completely wrong.

If only Sandusky were a black transexual, the social justice warriors at The Philadelphia Inquirer and other mainstream media outlets might be interested in his case, especially because of the overwhelming evidence of official misconduct and the trampling of a defendant's constitutional rights during every phase of the investigation, prosecution, and trial of Sandusky, not to mention the appeal process that's been willfully blind to all those abuses. 

But alas, since Jerry's an old Protestant white guy who might have been completely railroaded by overzealous prosecutors, amateur detectives, quack therapists, tainted judges, lobotomized university trustees, brain-dead reporters, opportunistic "victims" and their greedy lawyers lining up for a big pay day, nobody gives a rip. 

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers state that they want to interview Judge Cleland about the events of Dec. 11, 2011. That was the night before the preliminary hearing in the case, when Judge Cleland convened a highly unusual meeting with both prosecutors and defense lawyers at the Hilton Garden Inn.

At the preliminary hearing, Sandusky's lawyers would have had their only chance to confront Sandusky's accusers, the eight young men who would claim at trial that Sandusky had abused them. But Amendola, Sandusky's trial lawyer, testified that if he didn't agree to waive the preliminary hearing, the attorney general's office had made it clear that they were going to seek bail for Sandusky in the vicinity of $1 million. 

Having his client in jail, and not free to aid in his defense, would have been an additional hardship at a trial where he was overwhelmed, and didn't even have the time to read thousands of pages of grand jury notes, Amendola stated. So at the meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn, with the prosecutors nodding in agreement, the judge talked Sandusky's lawyers into waiving the preliminary hearing, which was their only pretrial chance to confront Sandusky's accusers.

The Hilton Garden Inn meeting was convened so that the Pennsylvania Railroad that Sandusky was riding on could stay on schedule, and Sandusky would proceed from indictment to conviction in just seven months. 

Just in time to save the football season for the Nittany Lions, who were being threatened by the NCAA with the death penalty.

In their motion for a new trial, Sandusky's lawyers want to interview the Honorable Judge Cleland "regarding his participation and circumstances surrounding the off-the-record meeting . . . which occurred the night before the Defendant’s Preliminary Hearing at the State College Hilton Garden Inn."

After Sandusky's lawyers asked the judge to produce any notes he might have taken during that meeting, and the Honorable Judge Cleland complied, and then he promptly recused himself from any further participation in the Sandusky case.

Sandusky's lawyers also want to question the judge about "any ex parte communications with any representatives of the Office of Attorney General, the Freeh Group, or anyone else concerning the scheduling of the trial in this matter."  

In the McChesney diary, she notes that Judge Cleland was "holding firm on trial date."

In his affidavit, trial attorney Amendola stated that he never talked to anybody at the Freeh Group about what the judge was up to with the trial date. 

So that's why Sandusky's lawyers want to question Judge Cleland, to find out whether he was communicating with Fina or anybody else at the A.G.'s office, or with anybody at the Freeh Group about that trial date. 

Again, since all of these folks were all playing on the same team, anything is possible. 

4 comments

  1. Wow!
    Now investigate and report on decades of child sex abuse and cover up at the Curtis Institute of Music, which no one, including the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Child Sex Abuse Cover Up, wants to report on in any meaningful way. Gerry Lenfest hid it all! And the Inquirer appears to be "A-OK" with that.
    Victms' voices must be heard.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The single most damaging consequence for a defendant is a media outlet who has already told the region the defendant is guilty. No prosecutor should be able to give any “facts” to a journalist and no journalist should be able to condemn a defendant on the word of prosecutor.
    A law should be enacted that prevents journalist from working for the prosecution. The same law that prohibits lawyers from violating an oath should be extended to journalists.

    We have lost our way, if reform is in the mind of every forward thinking American, we do not need to take giant leaps backwards by going the work of the prosecution. As hard as it may be for people who have had no dealings with prosecutors, or more precisely federal prosecutors, they are in a job to win, not to get it right, not to save the world from corruption but to make a name for themselves .

    . If their intentions when entering the profession were to get the bad guy, they certainly lost their zeal along the way. Watching a defendant rot in prison is all in a days work for them.

    Having knowledge of two federal trials, both of which should never have seen the inside of a courtroom, it was impossible not to witness the abysmal actions of the prosecution and the FBI.
    The media gave the prosecution a pass while all but sentencing the defendant to damnation. The media’s lack of concern for a defendant was evident. Fair-minded journalists should never condemn a defendant on the evidence presented by a prosecutor.

    A disclaimer should proceed each article, saying these words are not the work of the journalist but the prosecution meant to influence you the reader who may be asked as some point to be a juror.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can reviewing what Sara Ganin wrote and when she wrote it, shed any light on who gave her what info to leak?

    ReplyDelete

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