In a move he forecast, the attorney representing Jerry Sandusky has filed a motion to dismiss all charges against the embattled former assistant Penn State football coach.
In an omnibus pretrial motion filed Thursday, attorney Joseph L. Amendola argued the 52 counts of sex abuse lodged against his client were not specific enough to sustain trial, along with a host of other requests should the Centre County Common Pleas Court not throw out the case.
Specifically, Amendola argued the open-court testimony of Mike McQueary — who has alleged he witnessed Sandusky rape a boy in a Penn State locker room — did not establish sufficient evidence to try charges against the coach because state prosecutors had not identified the alleged victim from McQueary’s testimony. He also argued that, for a majority of the alleged victims, the criminal statute of limitations had run. He said the state had failed to provide more than a dozen items the defense had requested through discovery. And, if the charges aren’t dismissed, Amendola asked the court to block prosecutors from using information he alleged they failed to hand over.
Other requests absent a dismissal — including a continuance, individual interviews of prospective jurors, jury sequestration and suppression of evidence — followed.
Amendola also told the court that Sandusky could not put together a list of alibi witnesses until the prosecution turns over more details. If the details were turned over, however, he said Sandusky believes he would be able to present an alibi defense.
Sandusky passed on an opportunity to face his accusers in open court in December, waiving his preliminary hearing. On that day, prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office had several accusers prepared to testify, reporters were told.
Still, the most controversial set of allegations against Sandusky — if publicity is any indication — came from McQueary.
McQueary’s testimony came both before a grand jury and at a preliminary hearing for two Penn State administrators, whom the state has also charged in the scandal. Former Athletic Director Timothy Curley and former Vice President of Business and Finance Gary Schultz stand charged with failing to report McQueary’s accounts to authorities and then lying to the grand jury about it.
Prosecutors have not identified the alleged victim from McQueary’s accounts, Amendola has argued.
The charges against Sandusky came after two separate scathing grand jury reports alleged he sexually abused 10 boys over the course of at least 15 years. He faces a mid-May trial.
Amendola did not return a message left at his State College law office.
Attorney General’s Office spokesman Nils Frederiksen said in an e-mail that the motion is “under review.”
Prosecutors have suggested in court filings that they have more information incriminating Sandusky but have yet to press additional charges. In a late February court filing, Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle H. Eshbach argued that the disclosure of this information would violate the state Grand Jury Act.
In Amendola’s catchall filing Thursday, though, he asked the court to force the state to turn over the “uncharged misconduct” information or block the prosecution from using it at trial.
Amendola also argued that the state investigators who searched Sandusky’s home in June 2011 did not have sufficient probable cause, asking the court to suppress any evidence stemming from what he called the “illegal search.”
He moved to suppress statements Sandusky made to investigators during a 1998 investigation into the coach, claiming Sandusky — who was never charged following the investigation — was not properly advised of his Miranda rights.
Other evidence, intercepted conversations with “Victim 1″ from the original grand jury presentment and “Victim 9″ from the subsequent present, should also be suppressed, Amendola argued.
According to Amendola’s motion, prosecutors have alerted the defense that they may use the recorded conversations at trial. The state intercepted the conversations between Sandusky and Victim 1 on June 25, 2009, and between the coach and Victim 9 on Nov. 9, 2011, he said.
The grand jury presentment detailing Victim 9′s encounters with Sandusky says the alleged victim contacted police after the first presentment came out.