Jerry Sandusky to get accusers' names

Updated: January 31, 2012, 7:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will learn by the end of the week the names of the 10 young men he is charged with having sexually abused, according to a court document filed late Monday by state prosecutors.

The attorney general's office said that the alleged victims' names will be delivered to Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola by the close of business Friday, a process that would apparently avoid disclosure through public court records.

Sandusky
Sandusky

Sandusky, 68, is awaiting trial on charges he committed a range of abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period, including alleged sexual assaults on Penn State property. He has denied the allegations.

In a related development, state prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday to seat a jury from outside the county, saying it's needed because of pretrial publicity and the prominent role Penn State plays in the local community.

"The unblinking eye of the press has been focused on a case which is without analogue or peer in the history of this commonwealth," wrote Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan. "Truly, this case is necessarily unique."

Amendola said he was vehemently opposed to using an out-of-county jury.

"Jerry's case has drawn national attention as a result of which we feel there's no better place than Centre County from which to select fair minded individuals to sit as jurors," he said in a statement emailed to reporters.

The names of the 10 alleged victims were not disclosed in the grand jury reports, which listed them as victims Nos. 1 through 10.

"The only statement I have is, he knows who they are," said Jeffrey Fritz, a lawyer for the young man called Victim 4 in the first grand jury report. "But putting that aside, my understanding of criminal procedure is, he's entitled to that."

Attorney Slade McLaughlin, who represents the person identified as Victim 1, said Amendola told him Tuesday that he needs the names to prepare Sandusky's legal defense and does not intend to publicize them.

"I would think that most media personnel would keep the information private even if it were made public by Amendola, but there are always a few bad eggs in every barrel, so who knows," McLaughlin said.

The scandal resulted in the ousting of school president Graham Spanier and longtime coach Joe Paterno, who died Jan. 22, and has brought shame to one of college football's legendary programs.

Athletic director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and vice president Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down.

Schultz and Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report the alleged abuse to police. Like Sandusky, they have maintained their innocence.

Amendola has requested a document from prosecutors that would include names of purported victims along with the times, locations and other information to back up the 52 criminal counts against the former Penn State defensive coordinator.

The attorney general's offices said in a document filed in Centre County court that the grand jury reports, charging documents and discovery materials lay out the facts sufficiently.

Sandusky "has at his disposal ample information to be apprised of the charges, avoid surprise, and intelligently raise any double jeopardy or statute of limitations challenges," prosecutors wrote, asking the judge to deny the request.

Amendola said Tuesday he had not read the attorney general's response, and a spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment beyond what was contained within the court filing.

The motion filed Tuesday by the attorney general's office seeking an out-of-county jury said coverage of the Sandusky case has been "spectacular in its breadth and intensity."

McGettigan's jury motion, filed in Centre County court, said it would not be fair or practical to ask people in Centre County, home of Penn State's main campus, to "insulate themselves" from the school where Sandusky coached for many decades.

"Prospective jurors would face a Gordian knot of conscious and even subconscious conflicts and difficulties," he wrote.

Judge John M. Cleland has scheduled a Feb. 10 hearing to resolve any remaining disputes concerning the defense request, and to consider Sandusky's attempt to modify bail conditions so he may have contact with his grandchildren.

Sandusky, currently under house arrest in State College, wants permission for his 11 grandchildren to visit his home, accompanied by a parent, as well as to be allowed to communicate with them by phone or computer.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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