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Prosecutors Resist Sandusky Defense Requests for Psychological Records, Other Materials

on March 05, 2012 2:31 PM

State prosecutors have argued against the pre-trial release of psychological evaluations and some other personal information in the Jerry Sandusky child-sexual-abuse case.

Sandusky's defense team has sought a variety of prosecution materials in the pre-trial discovery phase. In a court filing last month, lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked for the names and addresses of all parties subpoenaed in a grand-jury investigation.

He also asked for, among other things, psychological records for the 10 people identified as victims in the case and transcripts of grand-jury testimony. (A more thorough outline of Amendola's requests is posted in this earlier report.)

In a response dated Wednesday, state prosecutors argued that grand-jury materials are not subject to pre-trial discovery -- unless a supervising grand-jury judge says otherwise. The same goes for material related to ongoing investigations and crimes that are not presently charged, they wrote.

In addition, prosecutors argued, statutorily protected items such as psychological evaluations or juvenile arrest records are not subject to pre-trial discovery, either. They also are resisting turning over personal information they believe is not relevant to witness credibility.

"The prosecution is not required to turn over every piece of evidence which might possibly assist the preparation of the defense," reads their filing, made available Monday by the Centre County prothonotary. It was submitted by state deputy attorney generals Frank G. Fina and Jonelle H. Eshbach.

They believe the prosecution has provided the defense with all discoverable items that have been requested, they wrote. The prosecution has granted a number of Amendola's requests, as noted in the latest filing.

"It is further respectfully requested that the commonwealth and counsel for the defendant attempt to resolve this matter without trial-court intervention for the extent that it can be done, leaving unresolved issues for the trial court's action," the prosecution filing goes on.

The full text of the prosecution's latest filing is available via the Centre County website. As of Monday afternoon, presiding Judge John M. Cleland had yet to respond to the filing.

Sandusky, 68, of College Township, has been charged with 52 criminal counts -- charges stemming from a lengthy grand-jury investigation. A former Penn State assistant football coach, he has maintained that he is innocent.

Jury selection for the anticipated trial is set for May 14 in Bellefonte.

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