Closed-door conversations revealed in the transcript of the Jerry Sandusky trial drop hints that The Second Mile is under investigation.
In a meeting in chambers during Sandusky’s trial, Judge John Cleland said that it was “general knowledge that the Second Mile and its various fundraisings have been the object of some investigations by some agencies.”
“I don’t know if it’s the grand jury, FBI, U.S. attorney or somewhat, but there are certainly ongoing investigations,” Cleland said.
Prosecutor Frank Fina replied, “I think that’s very fair to say, your honor.”
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The discussion was part of the 2,586-page transcript from the Sandusky trial that was released Friday and included many of the sidebars and meetings in chambers that took place during the nine-day trial.
That closed-door meeting and another one focused on then-Juror 6 and concerns about her serving on the jury. She was later excused from jury duty — Cleland announced in court that she had become ill — and replaced by an alternate.
“She has been a source of some concern ...” Cleland said to attorneys in chambers.
Cleland had received correspondence from Ben Heim, CEO of Keystone Real Estate, saying the juror was an employee, and that he was concerned because both he and his father, Bruce Heim, were on The Second Mile board. Bruce Heim was a longtime supporter of the organization Sandusky started, even donating $2 million, according to the transcript.
The juror hadn’t disclosed that connection during the jury selection process. The juror said she didn’t know much about the Sandusky case at all. Any potential jurors who had a Second Mile connection were immediately excused.
The letter from Ben Heim did say that the juror was a new employee and might not have realized the connection.
Cleland, prosecutors and the defense attorneys discussed what Cleland referred to as a “delicate matter” and how to confirm whether the juror worked directly with Bruce Heim.
“Our concern, Judge, is that when we saw the letter from the Heims that she may be working in close proximity with those gentlemen, and we didn’t want to question anyone related to the businesses and all we simply did was check where those gentlemen have their offices and compared it to where she worked which was in The Apartment Store,” Fina said.
Cleland later asked, “On the other hand, you don’t have to confirm this, but I assume by reading between the lines that you’re telling me there may be ongoing investigations involving his involvement, which Juror 6, as his secretary, may be aware of?”
In addition to that, Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola said he received information from a reliable source that “as far as she was concerned she had already decided that Mr. Sandusky was guilty.”
Amendola said he was told she had text-messaged or communicated that to other people.
Other parts of the conversation were held off the record.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy