Jerry Sandusky trial: Opening arguments to begin in Penn State sex abuse case
(CBS News) BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Opening arguments are set to begin Monday in the sex abuse trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of criminal assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period. A jury of seven women and five men will hear the case.
The case will likely turn on the testimony of the alleged victims - what could be as many as eight, until now, anonymous young men coming out of the shadows inside historic Centre Country Courthouse to describe sexual abuse at the hands of a once revered - now reviled - football coach.
"There really is no physical evidence," Widener University law professor Wes Oliver said. "It's entirely a question of he said, he said. "But there are a whole lot of 'he's.' There are a whole lot of people to claim this story or claim similar stories."
Throughout the jury selection process, Sandusky sat side-by-side with his attorney Joe Amendola, listening intently and taking notes as more than 200 Centre County residents were whittled down to 12 jurors and four alternates. Many have ties to Penn State, including a professor and a current student who works in the athletic department.
In the past, Amendola has made clear he will hammer away at the credibility of all accusers, challenging the prosecutor's contention Sandusky groomed many of the boys -- meeting them at The Second Mile charity he founded before showering them with gifts and special access to Penn State practices and games.
"There will be no plea negotiations," Amendola said. "This is a fight to the death. This is the fight of Jerry Sandusky's life."
Another crucial witness is expected to be former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, who testified he saw Sandusky sexually assault a boy as young as 10 years old in a football facility shower.
McQueary originally testified the incident took place in March of 2002. Prosecutors recently changed the date to February 2001.
"This is very, very damaging to Mike McQueary's testimony," Oliver said. "Because the jury is going to be asking itself, if Mike McQueary, who has no dog in this hunt, is making up a story - could other witnesses be making up a story as well?"
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