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Sandusky Sex Abuse Trial Kicks Off, Victims’ Names to be Revealed

Opening arguments in the high profile child sex abuse trial involving a former Penn State assistant football coach got underway today in Bellefonte, PA.

June 11, 2012 – Opening arguments in the high profile child sex abuse trial involving a former Penn State assistant football coach got underway today in Bellefonte, PA., thrusting the notorious scandal back into the public spotlight. Eight young men are scheduled to testify in Centre County Court about how 68-year-old Jerry Sandusky befriended and abused them as boys over a 15-year period. The victims, now all adults aged 18 to 28, will be named publicly for the first time in court.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/25/12: On Friday, Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a period of 15 years, charges that shattered the once pristine image of Penn State University football and led to the firing of revered head coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky, a 68-year-old retired defense coach who was once considered to be next in line to take over Paterno’s job, showed little emotion as he was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts. Click here to learn more.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/22/12: This week, one of Jerry Sandusky’s adopted sons reportedly admitted to authorities that the former Penn State assistant football coach sexually abused him as a child. Lawyers for Matt Sandusky, who is one of Jerry Sandusky’s six adopted children, issued a statement yesterday saying that the 33-year-old was prepared to testify on behalf of the prosecution in his father’s high-profile sex abuse trial. Click here to learn more.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/19/12: Friends and ex-colleagues of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky testified yesterday on behalf of the defense in order to counter prosecution witnesses’ claims that he sexually abused boys in locker room showers. The testimony came at the beginning of the second week of a trial that has proceeded at a surprisingly brisk pace. Click here to learn more.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/15/12: The high-profile child sex abuse trial involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has adjourned for the week, following graphic testimony from eight prosecution witnesses. The last witness’s testimony has been described as the most explicit of the trial to date, but also the most problematic because some of its details differed from those of earlier witnesses. Click here to learn more.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/13/12: Taking the stand for the first time on Tuesday, former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary told jurors that he saw Jerry Sandusky naked in a locker room shower engaging in explicit sex acts with a prepubescent boy about 10 years ago. McQueary’s account differed little from his testimony given last December at a preliminary hearing, except that the shower encounter took place in 2001 instead of 2002. Click here to learn more.

Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Update 6/12/12: The second day of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial got underway this morning with tearful testimony from a witness known so far only as ‘Victim 1,’ a teenager whose mother’s complaints sparked a grand jury investigation. The trial’s second witness to testify, the young man cried as he described to jurors how the former Penn State assistant football coach performed explicit sex acts on him after meeting him through The Second Mile, a charitable organization Sandusky founded in 1977. Click here to learn more.

Free Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been abused, molested, or otherwise wrongfully victimized, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the perpetrator of the abuse and we can help.

What’s the problem?

Jerry Sandusky arrived at the courthouse this morning sporting a tan suit, more than a half hour before proceedings were set to begin. When asked by a reporter how he felt, Sandusky only nodded and gave a slight grin.

Victor Vieth, executive director of the National Child Protection Training Center, said Sandusky’s defense team would likely try to call into question his accusers’ believability, but would face an uphill battle. The long time period between the alleged abuses and reporting them “only adds to their credibility,” said Vieth, a former Minnesota prosecutor. “This is not a fun day for them (Sandusky’s victims). Who wants to talk about having anal intercourse with a much older man?”

Prosecutors allege that Sandusky had inappropriate physical contact with the boys, known only at this point as Victims 1 through 10, which included tickling and a ‘soap battle’ in Penn State locker room showers, as well as oral and anal intercourse. The allegations rocked the university, leading to the dismissal of revered long-time head football coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier in November 2011.

The scandal brought a disgraceful end to Paterno’s otherwise celebrated career, a man who recorded more wins in major college football than any other coach. He died of lung cancer in January, less than three months after being fired. His widow Sue and son Jay may be called by the defense as witnesses for Sandusky.

Due to the fact that Sandusky seemed like such an unlikely predator, the charges against him marked a new heightened public awareness of child sexual abuse. He was a revered children’s advocate and coach for one of the country’s most prestigious college football teams.

Sandusky has vigorously defended his behavior, stating in an NBC interview that he engaged in horseplay and roughhousing with the alleged victims, but never participated in sexual intercourse or penetration. According to his attorney, the primary defense tactic will be to ‘destroy’ the credibility of former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, thus undermining the believability of all the witnesses and victims. McQueary, a key witness for the prosecution, allegedly saw Sandusky abusing Victim 2 in a Penn State locker room a decade ago. To date, Victim 2 and Victim 8 have not been found.

Vieth said the charges against Sandusky are different from most sex abuse cases because the victims were young men, not children. Additionally, most allegations only involve one accuser, not 10 as in the Sandusky case.

“It’s hard to undermine the credibility of eight or nine adult men,” Vieth said.

Do I Have a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in sexual abuse and molestation lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

Free Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, molested, or otherwise wrongfully victimized, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a sexual abuse suit and we can help.

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