First jurors selected for Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s trial
By Jason Sickles
June 5, 2012
Lawyers in the child molestation case against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are wasting little time picking a jury.
More than 220 potential jurors reported to the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday morning. Within 10 minutes of the proceedings, prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed on a mother of two who works at Wal-Mart.
"She was the first juror interviewed," said Emily Kaplan, a freelance journalist at the courthouse for Yahoo.
By lunchtime, two more jurors had been selected: a middle-aged woman who has season tickets to Nittany Lions' football games and a 24-year-old man whose father is employed at Penn State.
Three more citizens were added during afternoon questioning, bringing the total to six. Twelve jurors and four alternates are needed.
But he now faces more than 500 years in prison if convicted on charges that he sexually abused 10 boys from 1994 through 2008. Prosecutors allege that Sandusky, now 68, met his victims through a charity he founded for at-risk youths. Some of the encounters reportedly took place on the Penn State campus.
Sandusky, who retired as the Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator in 1999, has repeatedly denied all allegations.
At least five jurors have been struck for cause, and one was excused during Tuesday's proceedings, Kaplan reported. A handful of the potential jurors wore Penn State gear, including a person wearing a "whiteout" T-shirt from a football game.
"I watched my community get ripped apart in November," a juror who was struck for cause reportedly said in court.
Given that the case reportedly lacks substantial physical evidence, veteran Houston defense attorney Jimmy Ardoin said he expects Sandusky's team to grill his accusers.
"They have to show that they have the motivation to come in and lie, whether it's for money, fame or whatever," Ardoin told Yahoo.
"Bankruptcies, foreclosure … you find everything you can to try and impugn their credibility," said Ardoin, who is not affiliated with the Sandusky case. "They are going to have to impeach the credibility of the witnesses."
It's a defense tactic that makes attorney Charla Aldous sick to her stomach.
Last year, Aldous successfully sued a Dallas private school for not protecting a 16-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by an adult teacher.
Her client took the stand and was raked over the coals.
"It was one of the most emotionally draining cases of my career," Aldous told Yahoo. "But it ended up being very therapeutic for her to take the stand. She was a very, very strong young lady."
© 2012 Yahoo News