Within 24 hours, Bellefonte will be abuzz with media coverage of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial.
It has been seven months since authorities arrested the former Penn State assistant football coach.
After numerous hearings and defense motions, many hoping to delay the trial or have charges dismissed. The time for trial is here.
Court officials expect roughly 200 potential jurors to be in court Tuesday.
“They’ve summoned more than they usually do just to make sure they have a large enough pool to enable them to get the number of jurors they need,” said Sheriff Danny Nau of Centre County.
On the day before jury selection in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial is set to get underway in Bellefonte, jurors in an unrelated case said they’re happy they won’t be deciding Sandusky’s fate.
“When we first went in there the judge said you can all breathe a sigh of relief that you won’t be here tomorrow,” said Eric Bishop from State College. He realizes very few people could have escaped the coverage of the sex abuse scandal that has Jerry Sandusky at the center. “It’s going to be a really big thing. I can’t imagine being chosen for it. That’s missing a lot of time from work.”
David Josefik of Philipsburg is confident the court will be able to find 16 jurors, even though he won’t be one of them.
With so many people in this area who have ties to Penn state or Sandusky’s charity the second mile.
The jury selection phase is scheduled to last all week.
“It’s a big deal for a local community especially with Penn State the largest employer in our area. So many things hinge on this thing. I hope everything comes out fair,” said Josefik.
Officials said jury selection will be done in three phases. Starting Tuesday, the judge is scheduled to pool the entire group of potential jurors.
Then in phase two, attorneys and prosecutors will be able to ask questions. Finally, each potential juror is expected to be questioned one-on-one in the judge’s chambers.
Opening statements trial are scheduled to start Monday, June 11.