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Sandusky Subpoenas Trample Victim Rights, May Do Additional Harm to Victims in Case

May 9, 2012

Anne Nicholas
(202) 467-8714

Washington, DC: In subpoenaing a far-ranging list of individuals, organizations, and agencies associated with victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Gerald A. Sandusky case, the defense is attempting to divert attention from Sandusky and put the victims on trial, according to a brief filed by the National Center for Victims of Crime. The organization's Amicus Curiae Brief to Quash Discovery Subpoenas asks that the Court not permit the disclosure of information requested in the subpoenas. 

"If allowed to go forward, this type of fishing expedition will have a chilling effect on victims everywhere and particularly those in this case," said Mai Fernandez, the National Center's executive director. "It is an effort to intimidate, harass, and embarrass them," she said. "We know that it takes great strength and courage to come forward to report crime, especially in cases of child sexual abuse. As a society, we encourage victims to come forward by giving them the assurance that their personal lives will not be unfairly dragged through the mud," she added. 
Fernandez says that the subpoenas -- sent to as many as 14 organizations and individuals -- defy the intent of the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act, which provides victims the right to fairness, dignity, and respect.
"We are asking that Sandusky bear the burden of proof to show that each of these subpoenas is likely to produce evidence that will be useful in his defense," said Fernandez. "The information requested should be relevant to his particular case, not an effort to besmirch the character of victims who have come forward." 

The National Center for Victims of Crime brief will be considered at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on May 9, 2012. 



The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. For more information, visit www.ncvc.org.