The Jerry Sandusky trial getting under way this week will likely center on the credibility of eight young men who say the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach sexually abused them as boys, reports the Wall Street Journal. In a case that brought down a university president and led to the ouster of the late football coach Joe Paterno, the defense is expected to raise questions about the believability of the accusers, portraying some as opportunists, while the prosecution is expected to characterize them as vulnerable youth preyed upon by a charismatic coach.
“This thing goes one of two ways,” said Widener University law Prof. Wes Oliver. “Either you think these victims are completely making this up, or you get on board with these victims and say, ‘Oh my god, this is horrific.’ ” Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky, 68, is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, starting in 1994. Eight of the alleged victims testified before a grand jury, with most saying they were forced to engage in oral sex and other acts in a basement room in Sandusky’s home, in a Penn State locker room, and in local hotels. Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the team, has pleaded not guilty to 52 criminal counts. He has denied any sexual activity with the boys.