Many Sandusky jurors have ties to Penn State

Sandusky allegedly gave gifts to victims
Sandusky allegedly gave gifts to victims


    Sandusky allegedly gave gifts to victims


Sandusky allegedly gave gifts to victims 03:15

Story highlights

  • One of the jurors is a current Penn State student
  • Others have links to the university
  • The jury is expected to hear opening statements Monday

Half the people selected to be jurors or alternates in the case against Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child rape, have ties to the university.

The panel includes one retired professor and one current professor, three graduates, two employees and one current student.

Here is a snapshot of the jurors, based on courtroom reporter pool notes. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday.


The middle-aged woman was the first potential juror interviewed. She works at Walmart and has two daughters. The juror said she had no fixed opinions on the case and has no Penn State bias.


The 24-year-old man is going to school in the fall to study automotive technology.


The middle-aged juror's husband is a physician in the same medical group in which John McQueary, the father of one of the key witnesses in the case, works. Former graduate student Mike McQueary has testified that he alerted football coach Joe Paterno in 2002 that he'd seen what appeared to be Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a shower in Penn State's athletic facilities, an allegation that authorities didn't learn of until years later. Defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked to have the woman struck for cause because of that relationship, but Judge John Cleland rejected his request. "We're in Centre County. We're in rural Pennsylvania," he said. "There are these [connections] that cannot be avoided." It appeared that Amendola was going to use his first peremptory challenge, but Sandusky stopped him, saying, "I think she would be fair."


An engineer from State College, the juror told attorneys he reached a saturation point and stopped reading about the case more than two months ago. The middle-aged man's wife works at a local library. "I believe I can be open-minded," he said during questioning.


A high school physics and chemistry teacher in his late 20s or early 30s, the juror has three children, including boys ages 5 and 2. He said he usually reads sports coverage and has just basic knowledge of the case. The Penn State grad has two degrees.


The married woman, in her 20s, works for a property management company and does not follow the news. She said she knew next to nothing about the case. "I just heard about it. I didn't hear any details or anything specific."


The rising Penn State senior wore a school shirt to jury questioning and said he had strong feelings about football coach Joe Paterno's dismissal. He works part time for the athletics department, knows some of the witnesses and has ties to the football team. His mother works for the State College school district. The juror said he could set his opinions aside. "Being a student, I hear everything. The whole outrage. Nothing specific." Asked if he had thoughts on the scandal, the juror said, "It's a lot of people's faults. Joe did a few things he shouldn't have."


The former Penn State soil science professor, in his late 60s or early 70s, worked at the university 37 years before his retirement four years ago. The married former educator has followed the case and said he could put aside his connection to Penn State.


The woman, in her 70s, was a school bus driver for 17 years before retirement. She said it was her duty to protect children, but she could consider the testimony of all sides.

JUROR No. 10

The Penn State employee is an administrative assistant in engineering. She has two daughters and four grandchildren. The middle-aged woman does not know anyone involved in the Sandusky case.

JUROR No. 11

The married 30-year-old woman has worked part time at Penn State and her husband currently works there as a media specialist. She has a 6-year-old son. She has had conversations with her husband about the case. She worked in dance classes at Penn State for about a year in the early 2000s and she worked there recently. She knows one potential witness and said she has not read recently about the case.

JUROR No. 12

The woman, in her 50s or early 60s, has been a Penn State professor for 24 years. She has read the grand jury report detailing allegations against Sandusky and knows a potential witness. She interacted with former President Graham Spanier while she worked on a small committee at Penn State for three years.


Sandusky spoke at the graduation of the Penn State grad, 30. She majored in human development.


The married, middle-aged woman said she had little knowledge of the case and can be impartial. She has no children. "I'm really bad about reading the newspaper. I don't watch a lot of television."


The Penn State alum, in his 50s, has two sons, who are 29 and 30, and said he was familiar with Sandusky before the allegations. The juror walked in and smiled at Sandusky. He read the grand jury report but said he hasn't kept up with recent details. The football fan's wife works with a Penn State program geared toward getting high school students prepared for college. His brother-in-law is a retired corrections officer. The alternate said he could be objective.


The married woman, in her 60s, elicited laughter from defense lawyers and prosecutors when she said she doesn't believe half of what appears in her newspaper. She said she staunchly believes a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. "It has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt." The alternate has no connections with the university and left State College when she was 19 and didn't return for 42 years.

      Scandal at Penn State

    • Paterno family to sue NCAA

      The family of Joe Paterno plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA seeking to overturn its sanctions against Penn State University over a child sex abuse scandal.
    • Penn State students work on a banner at "Nittanyville" outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, on Friday.

      Kicking off a new era of football

      In many ways, football is life at Penn State, a tradition synonymous with the campus. Nittany Lion fans are deeply religious about their football. Now, they begin a new era.
    • The site sits empty on Sunday where the Paterno statue once stood.

      When the hero falls off the pedestal

      It's an old, old story. We've all placed people on pedestals, and then, almost inevitably, they let us down. They violate our trust. They betray us. They fall off the pedestal, or we remove them.
    • BTS.Emmert.Penn State Sanctions_00002615

      'Stark wake-up call' for Penn State

      The NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University and stripped 14 seasons of football victories from the late head coach Joe Paterno.
    • STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 23:  Head coach Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions look on before facing the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium on October 23, 2004 in State College, Pennsylvania.  The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 6-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

      Sandusky 'empowered,' review finds

      The most powerful former leaders at Penn State University have been accused of showing "total and consistent disregard" for child sex abuse victims.
    • Guilty, guilty, guilty ...

      With the same decision announced on count after count -- guilty, guilty, guilty -- Jerry Sandusky's emphatic denials he had sexually abused boys became obsolete.
    • Sandusky: In his own words

      Jerry Sandusky admitted showering with boys but denied the sex accusations. Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial.
    • Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse following his child sexual-abuse trial on June 18, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Today the defense began their argument in the sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who is charged with 52 criminal counts of alleged sexual abuse of children.

      Sandusky's son fits pattern of victims

      Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
    • Holloway Sandusky

      What the 'Sandusky 8' said

      The words came haltingly, punctuated by ragged sighs, groans and cracking voices as two teenage boys bared their darkest secrets to a packed courtroom.