Attorneys for two of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case have said their clients will testify at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing in Bellefonte, and an attorney has told the Associated Press that all six victims identified by a grand jury will take the stand.
Philadelphia-area attorney Michael Boni said prosecutors approached his client, identified in the grand jury presentment as Victim 1, and asked that he testify at the hearing. He said he expected other alleged victims to also testify, but didn’t have firsthand knowledge they would.
Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi, who represents the person identified in the grand jury presentment as Victim 4, told media outlets Friday that he expected his client to testify at the preliminary hearing.
A lawyer for a young man who is accusing Sandusky of sexual abuse told the Associated Press that he has information that the six young men who testified before a grand jury, leading to the charges against Sandusky, will be called to testify next Tuesday. The attorney spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he is trying to ensure his client’s identity isn’t made public.
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Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse stemming from a two-year grand jury investigation that found he molested eight boys from 1994 to 2008. Sandusky has maintained his innocence and has had two public interviews since turning himself in Nov. 5.
At the preliminary hearing, prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office will present evidence for the charges to a district judge, who will determine whether to bind over the charges to county court for possible trial.
Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney, said he expects all the alleged victims who’ve been identified to testify, and is prepared to question them. Identities of six of the eight alleged victims were known by prosecutors when the grand jury issued its presentment — essentially a summary of its findings — in early November.
“Although the preliminary hearing is not a trial, but simply a probable cause proceeding, and will not provide Jerry with an opportunity to present his defense, we will, for the very first time, have the opportunity to face Jerry’s accusers and question them under oath about their allegations,” Amendola said. “We look forward to this opportunity.”
Amendola said he won’t present any evidence at the hearing.
Amendola said he also expects Mike McQueary to testify. McQueary’s father John said Tuesday that he didn’t know if Mike McQueary would testify.
According to the grand jury report, McQueary saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room shower in Penn State’s Lasch Building in March 2002. McQueary told head football coach Joe Paterno, who then reported it to former athletic director Tim Curley, according to the grand jury.
Amendola said he doesn’t expect Paterno to testify. Paterno’s attorney, Wick Sollers, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Curley and another administrator, Gary Schultz, the former vice president for finance and business, were charged with perjury and failing to report the abuse after the grand jury concluded they lied about their knowledge of the alleged 2002 assault. Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Dec. 16 in Dauphin County.
Boni said his client, the young man from Clinton County whose report of being abused by Sandusky started the grand jury investigation, is prepared to tell his story. But, Boni said, he’s anxious about having to relive the experience and potentially face cross examination from Sandusky’s attorney.
Another Philadelphia attorney, Slade McLaughlin, is representing him, too.
Boni said it’s been difficult for his client and his mother, who Boni also represents, to hear Sandusky talk publicly about this case.
A spokeswoman for Baltimore attorney Howard Janet, who’s representing the person identified as Victim 6 in the grand jury report, declined to comment on reports that the alleged victims would testify.
State College attorneys Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici have said they’re representing a client in the Sandusky case, but haven’t said whether it is one of the people identified as victims in the grand jury’s report.
As Sandusky’s first day in court approaches, Amendola asked the public to let due process take its course.
“Jerry is asking all the people who over the years who have supported him and his programs to keep an open mind,” he said.
Centre County administrators and court officials are making plans and bracing for the crowds, including members of the media, that are expected to descend upon Bellefonte for the hearing.
Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau, whose office provides security for the courthouse, said officials are planning for the hearing to last one day, whether it’s a few hours or goes past midnight.
County Administrator Denise Elbell said the county is tracking the costs that come from the preliminary hearing, including extra security and supplies.
She said the county doesn’t know how much those costs will add up to, but plans to collectively bill the media for extra expenses stemming from media coverage.
She said media representatives wanted a stage over the grassy area in front of the courthouse, but the county isn’t going to do that. She said if there is damage to the lawn or lights from media use, the media will reimburse the county.
Other costs will likely stem from extra security that’s needed and overtime for county employees.
“There’s going to be an additional cost to the county,” she said.
Elbell said the county is looking into shuttling its employees to the offices in Bellefonte, freeing up more parking near the courthouse.
A lottery will be held to determine which members of the public can claim one of the limited number of seats available in the courthouse during the preliminary hearing. Anyone interested in attending is being asked to register at the county’s website,www.co.centre.pa.us/media, from noon today through noon Thursday.
Those who are selected through the lottery process will be notified Friday, and will be able to pick up passes starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday at the Willowbank Building, Elbell said. They’ll have to show identification and get their hands stamped, so the passes can’t be transferred to anyone else.
reporter Franco Ordonez and CDT reporter Anne Danahy contributed to this report.