Jerry Sandusky will be back in a courtroom on Monday.
The former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator has filed a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, seeking a new trial. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse crimes in 2012. A jury found him guilty of assaulting boys he met through his now-defunct charity for at-risk youth, The Second Mile.
Sandusky’s attorneys find fault with that trial and are asking for reconsideration on a number of points, including grand jury leaks. McKean County Senior Judge John Cleland will hear arguments on Al Lindsay and Andrew Salemme’s request for an evidentiary hearing for their client.
The two lawyers submitted a list of witness certifications on Wednesday, detailing the substance of the witness testimonies. Cleland ordered the information in March.
The list includes Joseph Amendola and Karl Rominger, Sandusky’s original trial attorneys. One of the PCRA claims advanced is that the two provided incompetent counsel. The certification points to different factors as examples, including Sandusky’s 2011 interview with journalist Bob Costas, after the retired coach’s arrest.
According to the document, Amendola will testify that he did not prepare Sandusky for the interview, including failing to tell his client that the interview could be used against him in court and that Amendola would not be on hand for the actual interview.
Amendola’s testimony is also expected to go to the credibility of Sandusky’s victims.
Rominger, who was disbarred in 2014 and has since faced his own legal problems, will testify that he found “critical blunders” with the way the case was handled, according to the document.
The list also includes victims; attorney Andrew Shubin, who represented several accusers; former Centre Daily Times and Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim, who won a Pulitzer for her coverage of the case; experts in repressed memory therapy, and Frank Fina, the man who prosecuted Sandusky’s case for the Office of Attorney General; police and OAG investigators, and more.
One of the witness certifications was sealed by Cleland’s order. It is unknown what former Senior Judge Barry Feudale’s testimony would contain. Feudale was the judge who presided over the grand jury that recommended charges against Sandusky in 2011.
But what exactly will any of the witnesses say in front of the judge?
“As the overwhelming majority of these witnesses are hostile witnesses, the exact testimony they will offer is difficult to predict,” Lindsay and Salemme wrote.
The arguments in front of Cleland will take place at 11 a.m. at the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte.
Members of the public will not be admitted before 10 a.m.. Half of the courtroom will be reserved for credentialed members of the press, but the other half will be open to the public. Phones, computers and other electronic devices are not permitted for the general public.