Five men and four women have been selected to participate in the Jerry Sandusky child-sexual abuse case with jury selection continuing on Wednesday as the prosecution and defense work their way towards 12 jurors and four alternates.
While the prosecution worked to weed out anyone with connections to the university at least one longtime Penn state football season-ticket holder was chosen to participate in the trial.
During first questioning of 40 prospective jurors nearly half said they or immediate family members worked at Penn State or had retired from the university. Another potential juror rented apartments to college students and four prospective jurors new Sandusky personally while two knew his wife.
It was Sandusky’s lawyer who ultimately won the chance to have jurors chosen from the local community. Sandusky helped Joe Paterno build the universities football team and he was a well respected member of the Penn State community until allegations regarding his conduct came forward.
Not only is the first chosen juror a season-ticket holder since the 1970s, her husband once worked with John McQueary, a possible trial witness and the father of a key witness. Sandusky’s lawyer sought to have her removed but Judge John Cleland said he would need more grounds to have her removed since connections in Centre County “can’t be avoided.”
Other jurors include a mother of two who works at a retail store and a 24-year-old man who is planning to attend an auto technician school.
Jerry Sandusky is facing 52 criminal counts that could lead to a life in prison after allegedly abusing 10 boys over several decades, some of whom where abused inside the Penn State football locker room.
Lawyers have more than 220 potential jurors to choose from and Judge Cleland chose not to sequester those potential jurors which means they are allowed to spend their nights at home until they are dismissed or selected for jury duty.