Penn State victims would have to testify: Expert
If the Penn State sex abuse scandal results in former top assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky going to trial, his alleged victims would be called to the stand, a legal expert says.
Asked by "Early Show on Saturday Morning" co-anchor Russ Mitchell whether the eight victims a grand jury report says were molested by Sandusky would have to testify, Beth Karas, a correspondent for In Session on truTV, said flatly, "Yes."
Karas pointed out that, "Two of the eight are unidentified. They're known as victims two and eight. No one is named in that grand jury report. But, yes, they will have to testify. That's very common."
There is a chance, Karas says, the case won't get that far.
"Ninety-four percent of state cases plead out," she observed. "So, yeah. Chances are it will, but a lot of cases still do go to trial, so it could."
Karas also said the eight are probably just "the tip of the iceberg."
"This was a two-year investigation," she noted. "There's no reason to believe these eight children are the only ones. Jerry Sandusky had his foundation since 1977. I believe the investigation will widen, and the net cast is very broad. I did speak with a spokesman for the attorney general's office, and he will not comment on further victims who are coming forward."
As the case progresses, now fired but legendary head coach Joe Paterno has a heavyweight lawyer representing him, which Karas says is "very prudent of him, to have an attorney to seek some advice. We don't know if it's because he fears potential criminal charges. Maybe he's gonna be subpoenaed to testify and he just wants advice of counsel to make sure he's OK. Maybe he is contesting his termination and he needs some advice about that. Maybe he fears some civil suits. So it's very prudent. I'm not surprised at all that he has a good attorney."
The mood on campus ahead Saturday's last home game of the season is different, State College (Pa.) Patriot News reporter Sara Ganim told Mitchell.
"Last night, especially, was very different than a normal football Friday night," she says. "It was quiet. It was solemn and then, of course, we had that (anti-sex abuse) candlelight vigil. ... The mood on campus was much different than in the past couple of days, where there has been some rowdiness and students have been taking a lot of criticism for their behavior (such as the disturbance after Paterno was let go).
"Last night, everyone was very well-behaved. It was very solemn. There weren't many cheers or chants. It was just quiet clapping after several speakers. But, in the back, behind those several thousand students with all of those candles, there were police on horses so the presence and the idea of what's been going on here this week was still very much known.
" ... There are a lot of security concerns surrounding (Saturday's) game, because the students here have been known to rush the field, riot after a game. It's happened before and it happened this week. So, there's a lot of concern about bad behavior. The (interim) president (of the university) said he will be particularly looking at student behavior today."
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