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Judge Orders Sandusky Co-Counsel Rominger to Explain Delay in Compliance with 2012 Court Order

by on April 04, 2014 9:22 AM

The judge who presided over the child sexual abuse trial for former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has ordered a defense attorney to explain why he hasn't complied with a 2012 court order.

Special Presiding Judge John Cleland issued the new order Thursday in Centre County Common Pleas Court saying defense attorney Karl Rominger must explain why he should not comply with a June 26, 2012 order.

That order requires Rominger to submit an inventory of all Sandusky case evidence the court says must be kept private.

Rominger has until May 1 to respond in writing. A hearing for any related issues, if necessary, is slated for May 15.

Chief Deputy Attorney General James Barker filed a motion Monday asking the court to instruct Rominger to comply with the 2012 protective order that requires evidence not used in trial to remain secret.

The judge issued the order after someone released an audio recording of a state police interview with Jerry Sandsuky's adopted son, Matt Sandusky. Portions of the recording were played during an interview with Matt Sandusky on NBC's Today Show. During the interview, Matt Sandusky says Jerry Sandusky sexually abused him as a child.

The judge's order says attorneys cannot release any evidence from the case, including from the investigating grand jury process, not already made public during Sandusky's trial. The intent is to protect the privacy of victims and others who provided testimony.

The judge gave defense attorneys 10 days to supply an inventory of all evidence protected under the order. Co-counsel Joe Amendola submitted an inventory list July 6, 2012. However, Rominger did not file a list and instead appealed the order to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which denied his petition.

Barker argues in Monday's motion that Rominger reportedly said he intended to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but never did and the deadline for such an appeal has expired. Therefore, Barker asked the court to issue a new deadline for Rominger to comply with the original order.

Barker says the matter remains a concern "due to obvious grand jury secrecy and violations of court orders."

Rominger, who works out of Carlisle, is facing other legal troubles. Earlier this month he voluntarily surrendered his law license to the state as he is under investigation.

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said in a statement his office received information regarding Rominger possibly misappropriating funds. Freed said Rominger, and his attorney William Costopoulos, are cooperating with the investigation.

A jury found Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach, guilty of 45 counts of child abuse. A judge sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in state prison.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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