Sandusky judge denies prosecutors' request to quash certain subpoenas served by defense

By Jon Campisi | May 4, 2012

The judge presiding over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case has denied a request by state prosecutors to quash certain subpoenas by the former Penn State assistant football coach’s defense attorney.

In a one-sentence order filed at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas May 3, Judge John M. Cleland denied a motion by the prosecutors in the case to preclude improper use of subpoena power by the defense team.

Prosecutors had filed a motion late last month seeking to quash subpoenas served by defense attorney Joseph Amendola on Pennsylvania State Police, several schools and other state agencies on the basis that the subpoenas were improper, lacked basis in law and were a “misappropriation of the authority of the court.”

The prosecutors’ motion, which was filed on April 27 and signed by Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan, had referred to Amendola’s subpoenas as a “fishing expedition,” and sought judicial clarification on the relevance of the information sought.

Cleland, however, saw fit to allow the subpoenas to stand.

Two central Pennsylvania school districts, which in the past were attended by two of Sandusky’s alleged victims, also filed motions this week seeking to quash their respective subpoenas by Amendola on the grounds that the information sought is privileged and confidential under state and federal law.

Cleland has not yet ruled on those motions. He has set oral arguments on those requests for May 9.

Also on May 3, attorneys for Juniata College filed a motion with the court seeking to quash a subpoena school leaders received by Amendola requesting similar information.

That motion was filed by Pittsburgh lawyer Robert J. Ridge of Thorp Reed & Armstrong LLP.

Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Penn State University, is scheduled to go on trial in early June on charges that he sexually molested 10 underage boys during the 1990s and early last decade.

He has publicly maintained his innocence.

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