PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial gets underway Monday when lawyers deliver opening statements.
The jurors who will decide his fate have strong connections to Penn State, something that might help – or hurt – Sandusky.
“A lot of people would be skeptical that whether or not this occurred at all and the ties to Penn State may help the defense on the other hand, people may be very angry that the reputation of the university has been besmirched so to speak,” Pittsburgh defense attorney Pat Thomassey said.
He was surprised it only took two days to seat the 10 women and six men who make up the jury plus alternates who will hear the case against Jerry Sandusky.
He also was surprised to learn that one of the jurors is married to a man who once worked with John McQueary, father of prosecution witness Mike McQueary who says he saw an incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the showers of the Lasch football building.
“When there’s a personal connection to a witness in a case, I wouldn’t personally want that juror to be on the panel,” Thomassey said. “Once again, that could go either way.”
Paula Ward, a pool reporter for the trial, said it appeared that Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, was going to strike that juror, but that Sandusky thought she would be fair.
And Thomassey says parenting may transcend school affiliations in this case.
“I would want people who had children on the panel because they understand how children react, why children don’t say things – I would want parents on there if I was the prosecutor,” he said. “If I was the defense attorney, I would want people who don’t have children.”