You’ve seen her name in the plethora of stories about former Penn State coach and accused pedophile Jerry Sandusky.
But before Jonelle Eshbach, an 11-year veteran prosecutor with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, was assigned to a case with nationwide notoriety, she prosecuted homicide, rape and child abuse cases in York County for the district attorney’s office.
Eshbach declined a request for an interview, feeling it would be inappropriate at this time. She is prosecuting former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz for perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse.
A 1984 Penn State graduate with a law degree from Dickinson in 1987, Eshbach was hired by former District Attorney Stan Rebert and put to work prosecuting child abuse cases.
During her tenure in Rebert’s office, Eshbach successfully prosecuted two men charge in double homicides — Route 30 gunman Leonard Johnson who killed two Harley Davidson workers who were on their lunch break in September 1999 and Milton Montalvo, who killed his girlfriend and the man she was with in April 1998.
Johnson was sentenced to life without parole. Montalvo remains on death row.
More recently, Eshbach was back in York County court last year, prosecuting local race car driver Shawn A. Arndt, for molesting a teenage boy.
Eshbach caught that case because Arndt had consulted his legal problems with Tom Kearney before Kearney was elected district attorney, creating a conflict of interest.
A jury convicted Arndt and he was sentenced to seven to 14 years in state prison.
Eshbach’s husband is former Springettsbury Township Police chief and district judge elect David Eshbach.