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Sandusky prosecutors deny grand jury leak as defense grows “optimistic” for new trial

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BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Lawyers who prosecuted Jerry Sandusky when they worked in the attorney general's office testified Tuesday they had no knowledge that information taken from a grand jury investigation into the former Penn State football assistant coach was leaked illegally.

The former prosecutors were, however, concerned a leak existed, and devised a "trap", creating a fake subpoena using a to see if someone from their office would leak it. No one did.

Grand jury information from the Sandusky investigation appeared in a March 31, 2011 article written by Sara Ganim, then a reporter with The Patriot News newspaper of Harrisburg. Sandusky is appealing his 2012 child sex abuse conviction on the basis of ineffective counsel. His current attorney, Al Lindsay, wants to find the source of the Ganim's information as a way to potentially exonerate Sandusky.

"If we can establish there were leaks by government agents, it could result in dismissal of case," Lindsay said after Tuesday's testimony.

Former deputy attorney general Frank Fina, who was part of the Sandusky investigation from 2009 to 2011, argued the sources of grand jury information were people who were not sworn to keep their testimony secret.

"Witnesses who appear in front of a grand jury, 90% of them, are free to go and talk to the press and talk about what they were asked in a grand jury," Fina said.

Judge John Cleland allowed Sandusky's defense team a three-day hearing to appeal the jury's decision four years ago. Cleland presided over the 2012 trial. However, he adjourned the hearing Tuesday and left open the door for more potential witnesses.

"This matter is going to go on," Lindsay said, adding he wants to get testimony from Ganim, as well as the man who claims to be Victim 2. "We think it's going better than we had planned."

Mike McQueary, a former graduate assistant with Penn State, testified in 2011 he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the Lasch Building locker room shower in 2001. The boy later self-identified as Victim 2.

However, in the months leading up to McQueary's testimony, the person who currently claims to be Victim 2 originally told prosecutors and defense attorneys Sandusky was never inappropriate with him, according to Fina's testimony Tuesday. It wasn't until he attained the services of civil rights attorney Andrew Shubin did Victim 2, now believed to be a 29-year-old man, tell law enforcement he was abused by Sandusky.

"I'm not calling them liars," Lindsay said. "I'm not calling them anything. We're saying their testimony was not factually accurate."

Victim 2 has never testified, and according to Lindsay, cannot currently be found. Lindsay argues prosecutors avoided his claims because of his inconsistent stories. Lindsay also claims one of the lead prosecutors, Joe McGettigan, lied to the jury when he told the identity of Victim 2 was "known to God but not to us."

McGettigan, however, insisted Tuesday he did not lie about the boy's identity, testifying, "I did not know then, and I do not now."

McGettigan and Lindsay shared a 15-minute, often terse testimony, causing Judge Cleland at one point to interrupt questioning to admonish both to settle down. At one point, Lindsay asked McGettigan if he could read him what McGettigan said during the 2012 trial.

"Suit yourself," McGettigan responded.

Following his testimony, McGettigan said outside the courthouse, "I thought I was respectful for the idiocy I had to tolerate."

Sandusky is serving 30-to-60 years in prison for his guilty conviction.

Judge Cleland gave no indication if and when another hearing would take place.