The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Mon April 30, 2012
School District Wants Sandusky Subpoena Tossed
A central Pennsylvania school district on Monday asked the judge overseeing Jerry Sandusky's child sex-abuse case to throw out a defense subpoena seeking information that pertains to an alleged victim of the former Penn State assistant football coach.
The motion by Lock Haven-based Keystone Central School District [PDF] argued that the subpoena was not lawful and asked Judge John Cleland to either invalidate it or issue a protective order.
The dispute concerns the young man described as "Victim 1" in court records. A grand jury report issued in November said Victim 1 had testified that he was molested repeatedly, allegations Sandusky has denied.
Sandusky's lawyers sent a subpoena to the district superintendent seeking numerous school records about the man, including IQ test results, discipline records, grade reports, attendance records and certain investigative records, among other things.
"Because the defendant has failed to articulate a foundation as to the reasonableness, materiality and justiciability of his subpoena, it is not lawfully issued and therefore any corresponding request for educational records should be denied and/or quashed," wrote David I. Lindsay, the school district's lawyer.
Messages seeking comment from Sandusky's attorneys were not immediately returned. Cleland has issued a gag order [PDF] that greatly restricts what prosecutors and defense lawyers may say about the Sandusky case.
The school district's motion said communications between a student and guidance counselor, or with a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, are confidential under state law, and that federal law governs disclosure of educational records.
Lindsay said in a phone interview Monday that the wording of the protective order would be up to Cleland but he wanted it to "protect the privacy rights of the child."
On Friday, the state attorney general's office said in a court filing that the defense team was improperly issuing subpoenas and using them for a fishing expedition. Prosecutors also objected to the defense including the names of alleged victims on the subpoenas.
Earlier Monday, Cleland issued an order giving Sandusky's lawyers until Thursday morning to respond. The judge said he would either rule based on the record or schedule oral argument in the matter.
Sandusky, 68, faces trial in June on charges he sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year period, including violent sexual attacks inside Penn State football facilities. Sandusky, confined to his home until trial on 52 criminal counts, has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Slade McLaughlin, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents Victim 1, said he supports the legal efforts by the district and state prosecutors regarding the subpoena, and will be joining the motions.
"I perceive this as being out of the ordinary, and totally improper," McLaughlin said in an email. "Discovery in criminal cases is generally very limited in scope. That's why you never hear about issues like this arising in criminal cases. It doesn't happen."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.