The three former Penn State administrators charged with perjury in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case have all filed motions referencing the way a former university attorney testified against them to the grand jury — and some legal experts are saying the case is tainted because of it.
Both former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz have filed to have their Dec. 13 preliminary hearing postponed. Both men say they believed former university counsel Cynthia Baldwin was representing them in front of the grand jury when they testified, while she was actually representing the university.
Baldwin later testified in front of the grand jury against Curley and Schultz, as well as former Penn State president Graham Spanier. He has filed to have the charges against him dismissed based on the claim that Baldwin broke attorney-client when she testified in front of the grand jury.
“The case is beyond repair at this point,” said Matt McClenahen, of McClenahen Law Firm LLC. “I have never seen anything like this happen before. I don’t think the judge can be creative enough to remedy what has happened.”
McClenahen said the only way Baldwin would have been allowed in the grand jury room as an attorney is if she was representing someone, which in the case would have been Curley, Schultz and Spanier.
McClenahen said this means once she testified in front of the grand jury, she would have testified against her clients and violated attorney-client privilege. Not only should Baldwin know enough not to testify against Curley, Schultz and Spanier, McClenahen said, but the prosecutors should have also known enough not to call her to testify.
McClenahen also said all three men should not have had the same attorney, as they could all at one point have implicated each other.
“This should really shock the conscience of anybody who knows anything about the criminal justice system,”the criminal justice system,” McClenahen said.
James Bryant, of Bryant and Cantorna Attorneys at Law, P.C., said the three men fell into a “grand jury trap.”
“There was a statute of limitations, so later on they can’t be prosecuted for anything,” Bryant said. “But [Curley, Schultz and Spanier] were asked to go in and tell their side [to the grand jury]. When someone says something different, they can be charged with lying to the grand jury, which is what happened.”
Bryant said Baldwin should have told the men either to plead the Fifth Amendment, so as to not implicate themselves, or to ask for immunity if they were to testify.
Curley and Schultz were charged last November with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse in relation to the Sandusky case.
Curley and Schultz were arraigned on new charges on Nov. 2 of child endangerment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit the previously mentioned crimes.
Spanier has been charged with perjury, child endangerment, obstruction of justice and failure to report suspected abuse, as well as conspiracy to commit the previously mentioned crimes in relation to the Sandusky case.
Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator, was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sex abuse. Sandusky was sentenced in October to serve 30 to 60 years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.