Lawyer: 6 Sandusky accusers to testify next week

By Maryclaire Dale

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 6 2011 12:30 p.m. MST

FILE - This Nov. 5, 2011 file photo shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, center, wearing handcuffs as he is escorted to the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot, in State College, Pa. A lawyer for a young man who accuses Sandusky of sexual abuse says he expects his client and at least five other alleged victims to testify at a preliminary hearing next week.

The Patriot-News, Andy Colwell, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

PHILADELPHIA — A lawyer for a young man who accuses former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse expects his client and at least five other alleged victims to testify at a preliminary hearing next week.

The lawyer said he has information that the six young men who testified before a grand jury 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 revealed publicly.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight young boys over a 15-year span. The preliminary hearing, at which a judge would determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to take the case to trial, could last a day or more, since the defense has the right to cross-examine the state's witnesses.

Sandusky, 67, denies being a pedophile and vows to fight the charges. In interviews with NBC and The New York Times, he has said he showered and horsed around with boys but never sexually abused them.

The state attorney general's office would not comment on the evidence they plan to offer to show probable cause the crimes occurred.

"We're not going to talk about specific testimony," spokesman Nils Frederiksen said Tuesday. "We'll be prepared to present as much as necessary to hold the case for trial."

Prosecutors listed eight victims in the grand jury report, but didn't know the identities of two of them when they issued the report in early November. One of the two was a boy allegedly seen being sodomized by Sandusky in a Penn State football complex shower in 2002.

Their identities may have since surfaced, however, amid the intense attention the case has drawn.

Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, has said he believes he knows the identity of the boy in the shower. He said the person dined with Sandusky this past summer and last month, in a visit to Amendola's office, denied that Sandusky had abused him.

Amendola said he's looking forward to questioning the prosecution witnesses — including any alleged victims.

"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 in a statement Monday. "We look forward to this opportunity."

The accusers would face not only Sandusky across the courtroom, but throngs of reporters and spectators expected at the courthouse in Bellefonte, about 10 miles from State College.

Assistant football coach Mike McQueary, who told the grand jury he saw the 2002 shower assault, could also be called to repeat that testimony.

McQueary's account wasn't immediately brought to the attention of authorities in 2002, even though high-level people at Penn State apparently knew about it.

In the wake of the scandal, the university last month fired coach Joe Paterno and accepted President Graham Spanier's resignation.

Athletic Director Tim Curley has been placed on administrative leave, and Vice President Gary Schultz, who was in charge of the university's police department, has stepped down. Schultz and Curley are charged with lying to the grand jury and failure to report to police. They maintain their innocence.

Prosecutors allege Sandusky met the victims through The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977 to help at-risk children.

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