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Jerry Sandusky trial: Full jury is selected

June 06, 2012|By Michael Muskal | This post has been updated, as indicated below.

A full jury and alternates have been chosen to decide the fate of Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Penn State University who is accused of sexually abusing boys.

Four jurors were chosen Wednesday morning, completing the panel that will consider the charges against Sandusky. Nine jurors had been seated on Tuesday, the first day of jury selection in the highly publicized trial.

In addition to filling out the panel, one alternate was picked in the morning session. Opening arguments are scheduled for Monday. [Updated 12:41 p.m. PDT June 6: Three more alternates have now been selected.]

PHOTOS: The Sandusky case: Who's who

The jury will include five men and seven women, according to pool reports from the courtroom.

Sandusky, 68, is charged with 52 criminal counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Some of the incidents allegedly took place at Penn State University, where Sandusky would bring the children on field trips.

At least four of the first nine jurors selected had some connection to Penn State. In the latest group, all four also said they had ties to the school, located about 10 miles from the Bellfonte courthouse where the case is being tried.

Among the new jurors is a woman who said she was a full professor at Penn State, another person who said she worked as an administrative assistant in a department at the school and a dance teacher at the continuing education program at the school. An alternate described herself as a Penn State graduate.

All said that they could be fair in deciding the case.

The defense worked hard to keep the trial local, hoping to get a jury that would be more understanding of the scandal. But some of the prospective jurors said that they couldn’t put their opinions aside.

One of those, a woman in her late 20s described herself as coming from “a Penn State family." She said she had graduated from the school and that her mother and two brothers have been students there. Her dad is a lifelong football fan.

“My kindergarten graduation picture is me wearing a Penn State cheerleader's dress,” she said.

Asked if she had any “fixed opinions about guilt or innocence,” she replied: “I have my perceptions of things.”

Asked if she could put those perceptions aside, she said: “I’d like to say that I could, but I don’t know to be clearly honest that I could.”

She was dismissed for cause.

The defense unsuccessfully sought another delay, arguing that a television report appeared to violate the judge’s gag order. Judge John Cleland rejected the argument

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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