Heavy Security On Hand In Bellefonte To Protect Alleged Victims
BELLEFONTE (KDKA) — A tunnel at the back entrance to the Centre Country Courthouse was requested by prosecutors to shield Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims from the public eye.
“The victims in this case do not want their information shared, so we’ve gone to great lengths to try to protect them,” Jennifer Storm of the Harrisburg Victims’ Assistance Program said.
Judge John Cleland previously ruled that victims testifying in the case would have to use their real names but asked media in the courtroom today to be respectful of the alleged victim’s privacy.
“Imagine having to tell the most horrific details of the most violating act that’s ever occurred against you in front of a live audience, in front of two sets of eyes of the perpetrator who violated you,” Storm said. “And then to have to endure cross examination.”
Members of the jury were also kept away from the camera lens on their way in and out of the courthouse.
Inside the courtroom they saw photos of eight of the alleged victims for the very first time.
Police officers were out in force on this first day of testimony. Security is expected to be stepped up for the duration of the trial to protect all those involved in the case.
“They’re being ushered in and out as quickly as possible to protect their anonymity and to try and make this (the) least traumatic as possible,” Storm said.