BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A sleepy country town better known for fly fishing than courtroom drama takes center stage Tuesday for a face-to-face encounter between a disgraced Penn State coach and the young men who say he sexually assaulted them as children in showers and campus locker rooms.
Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, will confront at least six accusers who claim that he violated their innocence and preyed on their weakness, using a charity that was inspired by a biblical parable.
Sandusky, 63, is charged with more than 50 counts of child sex-abuse involving 10 boys he met through the children's charity he founded. A judge will decide if prosecutors have enough evidence to send the case to a trial.
The defense often waives preliminary hearings, although it can also use the opportunity to? cross-examine witnesses and explore their credibility.
But Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, said Monday his client welcomes the hearing.
"We plan to proceed with Jerry's hearing, and Jerry is looking forward to the opportunity to face his accusers," Amendola said. He said there had been no plea negotiations before the hearing.
He would only say, "Maybe," when asked if he would call Sandusky to testify.
A lawyer for one of the teenagers scheduled to testify bristled at Sandusky's description of the encounters as childplay, or "horsing around."
At least six of the accusers are expected to testify at the hearing, which could last two days.