PSU Ties Run Deep Through Sandusky Jury

Ten of the 16 jurors have some sort of tie to the University and now attorneys arguing the case have the task of figuring out how to make that work for their client.

The attorneys arguing the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky have four days to figure out how to sway a jury heavy with connections to the school.
Seven women and five men will hear opening statements Monday in the sweeping case that rocked the university and led to the ouster of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.
Four alternates also were chosen Wednesday after jury selection wrapped up in less than two days, a much brisker pace than some observers had expected given the school's deep roots in this mainly rural part of central Pennsylvania.
But Judge John Cleland had insisted from the start that such connections wouldn't immediately rule out potential jurors so long as they could pledge to be impartial. Among the 16 jurors total selected, 10 had some tie -- either directly or indirectly -- to Penn State.

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One juror, a woman, is a professor at the University who has taught for 24 years. Another woman has had football season tickets for decades. And one of the male jurors is a PSU student who will be a senior this fall.
Some legal experts said jurors with school connections might be inclined to come down hard on Sandusky, blaming him for Paterno's firing and the damage to the school's reputation.
Other jurors with ties to the school include a man whose father worked at Penn State's Office of Physical Plant for three decades and a woman who works as an administrative assistant at the university.

  • Juror #1 - female,  Walmart employee,  two daughters
  • Juror #2 - male, mid-twenties, father works at PSU
  • Juror #3 - female, PSU football season ticket-holder, husband worked with Mike McQueary's father
  • Juror #4 - male, middle aged, lives in State College
  • Juror #5 - male, early 30's, PSU graduate
  • Juror #6 - female, 20's, works in downtown State College
  • Juror #7 - male, rising PSU senior, works for the University Athletic Department
  • Juror #8 - male, late 60's, retired PSU professor
  • Juror #9 - female, 70's, retired school bus driver
  • Juror #10 - female, middle aged, PSU administrator
  • Juror #11 - female, late 30's, dance teacher at PSU, husband has PSU ties
  • Juror #12 - female, 50's, PSU professor, member of faculty for 24 years

Alternate #1 - female, 30's, 2007 PSU graduate
Alternate #2 - female, middle aged, no ties to PSU
Alternate #3 - male, 50's, PSU graduate, wife directs a program at PSU
Alternate #4 - female, 60's, no connection to PSU

The jury will not be sequestered. Judge John Cleland told them he is trusting them to go home every night and not read or watch anything on the case.

Opening statements by prosecutors and defense lawyers won't be made until Monday. The trial is expected to last several weeks.

The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach faces charges he abused 10 boys, including attacks in his home and in campus athletic showers. He's denied the allegations, and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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