BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A jury was selected Wednesday in the child molestation scandal that brought down Joe Paterno, and the makeup of the panel left no doubt this is Penn State country.
The seven women and five men who will hear opening statements on Monday in the case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky include an engineering administrative assistant at Penn State, a dance teacher in the school's continuing education program and a professor who has been on the faculty for 24 years.
They also include a Penn State senior, a retired soil sciences professor with 37 years at the university, a man with bachelor's and master's degrees from the school and a woman who's been a football season ticket holder since the 1970s.
Four alternate jurors also were selected Wednesday, including a woman in her 30s who graduated from Penn State in 2007 with a degree in human development.
The selection process moved swiftly even though the rural area is rich with Penn State employees, alumni and fans. The judge, however, said Penn State connections would not automatically disqualify potential jurors, so long as they could pledge to be impartial.
Sandusky faces a total of 52 counts involving 10 alleged victims over a 15-year span. He has denied the allegations, and defense lawyer Joseph Amendola's potential witness list has seven Sandusky family members on it, including his wife, Dottie, and two sons.
Amendola on Wednesday asked again for a delay, alleging that an ABC News report saying that the accuser identified in court papers as Victim 4 would be the first witness violated the gag order Judge John Cleland issued in April. Cleland denied Amendola's request.
The lawyers who will argue the case said on the way into the courthouse Wednesday they were happy with the process so far.