Jerry Sandusky, 68, arrives at a preliminary court hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for the case against him to go to trial. He waived the hearing, opting instead to go straight to court. (Source: CNN)
Wednesday, November 9 2011 11:32 AM EST2011-11-09 16:32:53 GMT
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CENTRE COUNTY, PA (RNN) - The judge in the child sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will not sequester the jury despite extensive media coverage of the case.
The decision was announced during the course of jury selection, which began Tuesday.
Of 225 prospective jurors, 22 of them were found to have ties to principals in the case: Fourteen to the university, four to Sandusky, four to Sandusky's wife, and two to the charity Sandusky founded, Second Mile, CNN reported.
Opening arguments are expected to begin June 11.
Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and has been under house arrest since being charged. He faces more than 50 criminal counts related to the alleged molestation and sexual abuse of 10 boys over the course of more than a decade, and could serve life in prison.
The scandal took down legendary football coach Joe Paterno, the university's president, the athletic director and an administrator who oversaw university police.
Prior to jury selection, Judge John M. Cleland said the alleged victims will not have the benefit of pseudonyms at trial, despite the sensitive nature of the abuse allegations.
"While I will make every effort to be sensitive to the nature of the alleged victims' testimony, once the trial begins, the veil must be lifted," Cleland said in his decision Monday.
In his ruling he said there was not enough evidence to support the claim that harm would come to the victims if their identities were known.
"Only one of the alleged victims who filed such a request in this case supported it with evidence of potential harm, and even that affidavit asserted the kinds of generalized traumatic impact from testifying that would occur to any patient in treatment," he wrote.
He also pointed to Pennsylvania law, which does not provide for anonymity to "an adult witness because the witness is one of a class of victims of a particular form of crime."
Cleland also banned live tweeting or micro-blogging by the media while in the courtroom, pointing this time to rules set out by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
"If reporters are permitted to electronically transmit reports from the courtroom while court is in session and which contain verbatim accounts of the proceedings, it cannot be considered anything other than exactly the kind of broadcasting explicitly prohibited by the rule," he wrote.
He denied a motion by Sandusky's defense to gain access to juror information collected by the Office of Attorney General.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
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