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Jerry Sandusky: Eight jurors picked in child sex abuse trial

June 05, 2012|By Michael Muskal

Eight of 16 jurors and alternates have been selected in the child sex-abuse trial of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, officials said Tuesday afternoon.

Sandusky, 68, is charged with 52 counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years. The boys came from a charity Sandusky founded and some of the abuse is alleged to have taken place at Penn State.

Tuesday was the first day of jury selection.  Twelve jurors and four alternates will be chosen, meaning officials are halfway to their goal.

PHOTOS: Who's who in the case

Selection will not go past 5:30 p.m., according to media reports from the courthouse. The jury selection is being monitored by two pool journalists.

Judge John Cleland, who is presiding over the trial, has said he wants to complete jury selection this week and begin with opening statements Monday.

The trial is being held in Bellefonte, Penn., about 10 miles from Penn State University. The defense had fought to keep the trial local in hopes of getting a favorable jury.

Meanwhile, the Morning Call reported that one of the jurors is a woman whose husband has professional ties to a key witness' father.

The woman told defense attorneys that her husband works in the same medical practice as John McQueary, the father of Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary. The younger McQueary has told authorities that he saw Sandusky in a shower at the university with a naked 10-year-old boy.

It appeared defense attorney Joe Amendola was prepared to use a preemptory challenge, in which an attorney has a juror dismissed without giving a reason, but his client stopped him.

"I think she would be fair," Sandusky said of the middle-aged white woman, according to the  Allentown newspaper.

The other jurors chosen for the trial include a middle-aged woman with two daughters who works at Wal-Mart and a 24-year-old man who is studying to be an auto mechanic. He was selected even though he told the attorneys and judge that his father works at Penn State University.


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