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Special prosecutor to investigate secrecy issues surrounding Sandusky grand jury

Pat Little / Reuters file

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, leaves the Centre County Courthouse after his sentencing in his child sex abuse case in Bellefonte, Penn., on Oct. 9, 2012.

A judge in Pennsylvania has ordered a special prosecutor to examine if secrecy rules were violated in connection with a grand jury that investigated former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as well as three former school administrators who face criminal charges.

Judge Barry Feudale named attorney James M. Reeder on Feb. 8 as the special prosecutor and gave him six months to investigate secrecy issues related to the grand jury.

The judge's order was obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday.


Still, it was not clear if any potential violations of secrecy rules were related to the Penn State cases or any others before the 33rd Statewide Investigation Grand Jury, the AP reported, because such grand juries often work on more than one matter at the same time. 

 

Feudale, the AP reported, recently was weighing a legal dispute involving whether former Penn State lawyer Cynthia Baldwin should have been present at a grand jury proceeding.

The order referred to a rule that governs who may be present during the grand jury sessions. Lawyers for the three former administrators have said their clients' rights to legal counsel were violated by Baldwin's actions and were seeking to have her barred from testifying in hearings related to their cases.


Baldwin's lawyer, Charles De Monaco, has said she "at all times fulfilled her obligations to the university and its agents."

On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and he is now serving a 30 to 60-year sentence in a state prison.

Two grand jury reports accused Sandusky of having used his connections to the Penn State football program to “groom” boys, whom he met through his Second Mile charity for troubled children, for sexual relations. Sandusky has maintained his innocence and is appealing his case.

 

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Timothy Curley face charges of perjury in connection with their grand jury testimony in the Sandusky case. They also face charges of obstruction, conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children and failure to properly report suspected abuse. The three dispute all of the allegations.