HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two news organizations asked a Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday to unseal records in the pending criminal case against three former Penn State administrators over their handling of complaints about Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of child sexual abuse.
The Associated Press and The Legal Intelligencer on Tuesday asked Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis to make public filings in the case against the university's former President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley.
The motion says dozens of unidentified documents have been sealed in violation of the public's right to access information from the courts. The docket lists dozens of "sealed entries" and provides no information about their contents.
"Although certain grand jury material is, under normal circumstances, properly maintained under seal, if information is in the 'public realm' or does not 'implicate the secrecy of the grand jury,' it should not be sealed, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has instructed," wrote Gayle Sproul, lawyer for the AP and ALM Media LLC, publisher of the country's oldest daily legal newspaper.
She said the volume of sealed documents suggests they "sweep far beyond the narrow category of protected 'matters occurring before the grand jury.'"
Schultz's lawyer declined comment, while messages weren't immediately returned by lawyers representing Curley and Spanier. A spokesman said the attorney general's office has "some reservations about the mass release" of information from the case.
The three men await trial on charges of failure to report suspected abuse and child endangerment. Curley and Schultz were first charged at the same time as Sandusky in November 2011; charges against Spanier were added a year later.
Superior Court earlier this year threw out many of the more serious charges against the men, based on a determination that the role played during grand jury proceedings by Penn State's then-general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, violated attorney-client privilege. The Superior Court file also is sealed.
Sandusky continues to pursue appeals after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He spent decades as the defensive coach under Joe Paterno before his retirement in 1999.