Lifestyle & Belief

Sandusky trial: Defense will depend on accusers' credibility


Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse on December 13, 2011 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Sandusky was attending a prelininary hearing on charges he sexual abused 10 boys.


Rob Carr

Jerry Sandusky will finally face the 52 charges against him when his trial begins later this week. 

Sandusky, the former defensive assistant coach to the Penn State football team, is facing allegations that he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years. He has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. 

Prosecutors allege Sandusky met the boys through the charity he founded called The Second Mile. They believe some of the assaults occurred at Penn State facilities, according to Reuters.

Sandusky has been under house arrest since the charges came down in November 2011. The claims forced the firing of university President Graham Spanier and of Joe Paterno, college football's celebrated coach in history. Paterno had been with the Penn State program for 45 years. He died  a few months later from complications related to lung cancer at the age of 85. 

Analysts now believe Sandusky's legal team will attack the credibility of the alleged victims to help win the trial for their client. 

More from GlobalPost: Jerry Sandusky pre-trial hearing postponed due to ongoing investigation

Several of Sandusky's accusers have asked a judge to protect their identities at trial however Judge John Cleland has denied this action. All of the victims must testify using their real names, according to the Associated Press. 

Ben Andreozzi, the attorney for one accuser known as "victim 4," told CNN, he believes his client, now 28, is the strongest witness for the prosecution and will be called to testify first.

He said he is prepared for the defense to attack his client's credibility based off of a meeting his client had with Sandusky in the years following the alleged abuse.

He described his client's relationship with Sandusky as complex to CNN, saying, "My client couldn't break free."

"In any case I've tried like this, the people who are the accusers have to come across exceedingly well, and the defense has to demonstrate a theory to the jury that there's motive for them to lie or fabricate," veteran Harrisburg defense attorney Matt Gover told the Associated Press.

Wes Oliver, a law professor at Widener University School of Law in Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press, "Joe Amendola has said during some of the hearings that the defense is going to turn on a claim that some, if not all, of these victims had motives to fabricate these allegations."

More from GlobalPost: The Second Mile, Jerry Sandusky's charity, to shut down