The lawyers for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz want the obstruction of justice cases against the former Penn State administrators dismissed because “a cluster of errors” plagued the grand jury that investigated them, according to court documents filed in Dauphin County.
Curley’s and Schultz’s lawyers made the latest attempt to have the charges dropped by requesting to join a motion that former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s lawyers already have put in front of the judge — a motion to quash the criminal complaint and presentment for the same reasons. Dauphin County President Judge Todd Hoover has yet to rule on Spanier’s motion.
The center of the latest request is former Penn State general counsel Cynthia Baldwin, whose grand jury testimony the defense lawyers argued should be suppressed.
Baldwin accompanied all three men to the grand jury and listened as they testified about what they knew of abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky. Baldwin apparently later testified against the three men, and the state attorney general built an obstruction case against them based on her testimony.
The defense lawyers said Curley and Schultz thought Baldwin was their attorney when they went to the grand jury in January 2011. But prosecutors said she was not representing the men, and their lawyers said in the latest motion that their clients were denied their right to have counsel and that Baldwin’s presence in the room violated the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.
Curley’s and Schultz’s lawyers have accused Baldwin of violating attorney-client privilege by testifying about information the men shared with her in preparation for their testimony.
“Due to the grievous and unprecedented cluster of errors resulting in the structural breakdown of the grand jury proceeding, Mr. Curley’s grand jury testimony must be suppressed, Presentment 2 must be quashed and the criminal charges dismissed as fruits of the poisonous tree,” wrote Curley’s defense lawyer, Caroline Roberto, in a legal memo accompanying the motion.
Baldwin’s lawyer, Charles De Monaco, has maintained she did nothing wrong.
Curley’s and Schultz’s lawyers also say that three counts in the case should be dismissed because the statute of limitations expired. Those counts are child endangerment, conspiracy to commit child endangerment and failure to report abuse.
The lawyers for Curley, Schultz and Spanier have all maintained that their clients are innocent and vowed to fight the charges.
Curley’s and Schultz’s lawyers have made it their mission to have the charges dropped, and in the process, they’ve taken their arguments to the judge who presided over the grand jury and then later the state’s Supreme Court. Both courts denied the request, leaving them to turn to Hoover, the judge who would oversee the trial.
The men were charged with obstruction of justice in November 2012, but the case has been delayed by the flurry of motions dealing with the accusations about Baldwin and a preliminary hearing has not even been scheduled.
Curley and Schultz were first charged in November 2011 with perjury, and that case proceeded toward a trial until it was postponed indefinitely.