A federal judge ordered Penn State to release some of the names of the people Louis Freeh interviewed for his report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal as well as some records the investigators used.
The development occurred in the discovery phase, or the release of relevant records, of the civil lawsuit against Penn State brought by the young man known as Victim 6 from the Sandusky case. The young man’s lawyers had been seeking a large amount of documentation from Penn State for the discovery process, and the order from the judge represents how she settled the requests with the objections from Penn State.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody to grant some of the discovery requests in favor of Victim 6 is noteworthy, because the names of people and the work that went into the Freeh report have never been made public before. For instance, Penn State and Freeh always have refused to specify who were the more than 400 people interviewed by Freeh’s team, and the university repeatedly has said information like that should be protected from release by attorney-client privilege.
According to Brody’s order, Penn State must provide the names of anyone who talked to Freeh’s team about Sandusky showering with minors in the time frame of January 1990 through May 1998. The order applies to Penn State detectives who investigated the campus shower incident in May 1998 involving Sandusky and Victim 6, who was then 11 years old.
The young man’s lawyers previously had asked for information through May 1998 without specifying the beginning date that Penn State would start searching for materials. Brody’s order narrows the scope of the information Penn State has to hand over.
Penn State’s lawyers have until March 28 to fulfill the request, according to the order.
Brody also upheld a discovery request the young man’s lawyers made for minutes, notes and reports the Freeh team either created or reviewed in conducting the investigation. The judge told lawyers for both sides to narrow the scope of the request into something more manageable, and Penn State has until April 15 to get that information over the plaintiffs.
The lawyers for both sides and the judge had a telephone conference in late February, and the judge’s decision on how the discovery requests would be handled was issued earlier this month.
The documentation the young man’s lawyers had sought included much more than what Brody accepted. For instance, they wanted to see the full 3.5 million pieces of documentation that Freeh said he reviewed and any records Penn State authorities gave to the grand jury investigating Sandusky and three administrators accused of covering up Sandusky abuse allegations.
Penn State objected to releasing all the information, again saying it would be protected by attorney-client privileges.
The judge also said Penn State must turn over additional information for the discovery requests:
• documentation between Penn State and the NCAA from the time Sandusky was indicted to the issuing of the sanctions;
• complaints of sexual misconduct against any Penn State employee at the University Park campus from January 1990 through December 1998; and
• names of all secretaries to former administrators Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier and former university police chief Thomas Harmon from the same time period.