HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Court officials unsealed a fresh trove of sexually explicit emails Wednesday in response to the Pennsylvania attorney general's effort to show that two former prosecutors cooked up the criminal case against her because she was threatening to reveal their proclivity for pornography.
The roughly 1,000 pages of documents also include accusations that surrogates of Attorney General Kathleen Kane intimidated witnesses as they arrived to testify before a grand jury.
But the documents contain the strongest line of attack yet from Kane on the alleged conspiracy against her.
In a November motion, Kane's lawyers argued that former state prosecutors Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo "corruptly manufactured" the grand jury investigation to protect themselves after she found they had been sending or receiving pornographic emails on their office computers.
Fina's emails included, among other things, an image of duct tape with the caption, "Duct tape turns no, no, no to MMMMMM," according to Kane.
The documents include scores of emailed images of nude or scantily clad women, some involving sexual acts, distributed among prosecutors and agents who were employees of the office at the time. Others had jokes that played on racial stereotypes or other material that could be viewed as offensive.
The emails were discovered as part of Kane's inquiry into how the office handled the Fina-led investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State between 2008 and 2011.
Kane's office released some pornographic emails last year, setting off a wave of firings and resignations, including a state Supreme Court justice. Fina and Costanzo weren't among those identified as senders or receivers of those emails.
Fina and Costanzo declined comment through a spokesman for the Philadelphia district attorney's office, where both now work. District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement that his office has "clear human relations policies" and he is reviewing the email chains involving his current employees.
Montgomery County prosecutors charged Kane on Aug. 6 with obstruction and conspiracy for allegedly leaking grand jury material to the Philadelphia Daily News and then lying about it.
Prosecutors say Kane leaked the information to smear Fina and Costanzo, who she believed had provided information for a March 2014 story in The Philadelphia Inquirer that revealed her decision not to pursue charges in a separate corruption case.
Kane has said she did nothing wrong. A district judge ruled after a preliminary hearing Monday there was sufficient evidence to send her case to court for trial.
Fina and Costanzo wrote to a grand jury judge last year to seek an investigation into the alleged leak to the Daily News of material from a 2009 grand jury investigation into the former head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.
The NAACP official was never charged. The Daily News' article about the 2009 investigation cites a document in which the lead investigator, Michael Miletto, told a superior "he was taken off the case after Fina and Costanzo were told about the probe" and "criminal activity was just ignored."
The documents also show that Fina and Costanzo alleged that Kane subordinates had bullied them.
In an October court filing, the grand jury judge, William Carpenter, described "conduct of an intimidating nature" against Fina and Costanzo as they went to testify before the grand jury in August 2014.
The court-appointed special prosecutor, Thomas Carluccio, wrote in one of the filings that Fina and Costanzo were confronted by several agents of the attorney general's office who "walked with them to the elevator muttering comments to them," the court papers said. "The agents then rode the elevator with Costanzo and Fina to the grand jury room standing nose to nose with them. They were making comments concerning Fina and Costanzo the entire time in the elevator until someone said to knock it off."
In a separate filing, Kane said Miletto had "an encounter" with Fina and Costanzo, but that he denied trying to intimidate them.
Kane argued to the state's high court that Carpenter had overstepped his authority in issuing an order designed to protect witnesses in the investigation into Kane's office from retaliation.
"In truth," Kane told the Supreme Court in a November brief, "the protective order is the product of the maliciously ingenious, craven and contemptible (and so far successful) efforts of Fina and Costanzo to cynically manipulate and exploit the supervising judge, the special prosecutor and the grand jury process in order to avoid being held accountable for misconduct and violation of the public trust during their tenures" at the attorney general's office.
AP reporters Michael Sisak in Philadelphia and Peter Jackson in Harrisburg contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show that the last name of one of the former prosecutors is Costanzo, not Costanza.