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Former Penn State Football Coach Child Molestation Trial Begins Today

Today marks the first day of trial for former Penn State football coach and accused child molester Jerry Sandusky.

A jury of seven women and five men will hear opening remarks from both sides. Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of criminal sexual assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period. The victims were accessible to Sandusky via a charity he started for underprivileged children.

The testimony of the victims will most likely be the biggest deciding factor in the trial. “There really is no physical evidence,” Widener University law professor Wes Oliver told CBS News. “It’s entirely a question of he said, he said. But there are a whole lot of ‘he’s.’ There are a whole lot of people to claim this story or claim similar stories.”

The jury may also hear the testimony of the family of Joe Paterno, the late Penn State head football coach and Mike McQueary, a former assistant coach that claims he saw Sandusky assault a boy in a shower at the football facility. McQueary’s testimony could prove troublesome because the date of the witnessed assault has been changed from March 2002 to February 2001, which could affect his credibility and that of the other witnesses, according to Oliver. “The jury is going to be asking itself, if Mike McQueary, who has no dog in this hunt, is making up a story—could other witnesses be making up a story as well?” he said.

Sandusky’s defense team is already planning to attack the credibility of the witnesses. “There will be no plea negotiations,” Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney, said. “This is a fight to the death. This is the fight of Jerry Sandusky’s life.”

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