Most Jerry Sandusky Jurors Have Strong Penn State Ties

Nine of the 16 jurors and alternates have ties to Penn State.

June 06, 2012, 9:46 AM

BELLEFONTE, Pa., June 6, 2012— -- One member of the jury selected for former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial is a professor at the university who has read the entire grand jury report that indicted Sandusky.

Also on the panel is a student who arrived wearing a Penn State shirt, just finished his junior year at the school and works in Penn State's sports facility.

The two-day jury selection process was so deliberate that the first person interviewed -- a middle-aged white woman who works at Walmart and has two daughters -- was picked to sit on the panel.

A woman in her 70s who is a retired bus driver joined the group despite telling the court, "I just can't see our children hurt."

Yet another juror is a 30-year-old Penn State graduate who told the court that Sandusky spoke at her graduation.

The judge and lawyers seated a jury today. The first 16 jurors, which includes four alternates, includes six men and ten women.

Nine of the first 16 panelists have a connection to Penn State.

That many of the jurors have ties to Penn State was almost unavoidable in Centre County, which is dominated by the university.

Judge John Cleland conceded that it might be hard for one particular juror to put aside his emotional ties to the school, but added, "I hope it's hard for everyone. If it's easy, we have the wrong jury."

Sandusky, 68, is charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 boys. The former Penn State assistant football coach allegedly preyed on boys through the Second Mile charity that he helped create.

Testimony in the trial is scheduled to begin Monday with opening statements. The first witness is expected to be "Victim 4," who is now 28 and will support his accusations with "creepy" love letters that Sandusky allegedly sent to him and other boys.

The charges against Sandusky rocked the university and resulted in the dismissal of the school's president, Graham Spanier, as well as the school's revered football coach, Joe Paterno. Paterno, 85, died of cancer in January, shortly after he was fired by the school.

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