Judge offers tentative OK to Cynthia Baldwin testimony in cases against former Penn State officials

mdawson@centredaily.comJanuary 18, 2014 

The Dauphin County judge presiding over the criminal cases against three ex-Penn State administrators denied Friday a defense motion to block the testimony of key witness Cynthia Baldwin.

President Judge Todd Hoover said the motion was premature and could be refiled later, but he did not offer any further explanation about his ruling on the motions filed Nov. 20, 2012, that were aimed at keeping Baldwin off the stand at the preliminary hearings for Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

The hearingtook place in July, but the ruling provides insight into how the judge is thinking on the issue that has complicated the case. Baldwin did not testify at the preliminary hearing.

Baldwin was present when the three men testified to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky in early 2011. The men’s lawyers say they believed Baldwin represented them individually, but Baldwin’s lawyer has said she there to represent Penn State’s interests.

The defense lawyers have asked the charges to be dismissed against their clients because they were not adequately represented and because Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege when she later testified to the grand jury.

Hoover gave the defense lawyers for Spanier, Curley and Schultz 30 days to file documentation about the claims over their clients’ representation at the grand jury.

The defense lawyers were in court last month for a hearing on Baldwin-related issues. The judge decided he did not need to have Baldwin testify as he considered the issues, and he tossed out defense subpoenas for the testimonies of the prosecuting attorneys who conducted the grand jury proceedings involving the men.

Instead, Hoover said he would rely on grand jury transcripts and other documentation that already are part of the official court record.

State prosecutors have accused Spanier, Curley and Schultz of lying to the grand jury and covering up abuse allegations against Sandusky from more than a decade ago.

Baldwin told the grand jury that Spanier kept information from Penn State’s board of trustees as the grand jury investigation widened.

The men are charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, child endangerment and failure to report abuse.

Their lawyers have maintained that their clients are innocent.

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