Jerry Sandusky Trial: Jury selection begins today
(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Jury selection began Tuesday in the case against 68-year-old Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant Penn State football coach who faces 52 counts alleging he abused 10 boys over a 15 years period.
The proceedings are taking place about 10 miles from the campus. More than 600 summonses were reportedly sent out to residents in Centre County, the home of Penn State University.
Several prospective jurors said they knew Sandusky or his wife, Dottie, The Associated Press reported. Others said they or their spouses worked at Penn State. Prosecutors were concerned over the difficulty of choosing a jury in a community where practically everyone went to the university, worked there, or knows someone from the football team.
The prosecutors asked Judge John Cleland to bring in prospective jurors from another county, a request he denied but said he would later reconsider if a jury isn't selected in a reasonable amount of time, according to the AP. The defense had argued against bringing in jurors from elsewhere in the state.
On Monday, Cleland ruled that Sandusky's alleged victims will have to testify using their real names rather than pseudonyms. The judge also ruled that tweets and other electronic communications by reporters will not be permitted during the trial.
Cleland told the more than 220 potential jurors that he would not sequester them, meaning they can spend nights at home during the trial, which is expected to last several weeks. He urged them to avoid news accounts or social media postings, the AP reported.
Prospective jurors were taken in groups of 40 for more questions. Those who were not dismissed will ultimately face one-on-one questioning in a third phase. The process of finding the 12 jurors and four alternates could take days.
Sandusky, who also ran a charity for at-risk youth where prosecutors said he met his victims, has denied the 52 criminal counts against him. If convicted on all counts, Sandusky could be sentenced to more than 500 years in prison.
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