Sandusky’s Accusers May Testify Today In Hearing About Penn State Scandal

A courtroom in the small town of Bellefonte, Pa., is the center of much attention this morning.

As The Associated Press writes:

“The stunning allegations that a beloved icon of Penn State’s football team has secretly been a serial molester who used his charity for children to find and groom new victims will undergo their first legal test Tuesday. … Prosecutors will try to prove they have enough evidence to advance the case to county court for trial.”

NPR’s Jeff Brady, reporting from State College, Pa., tells our Newscast Desk that “the preliminary hearing can and in this case likely will include calling witnesses.”

So former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who faces more than 50 criminal counts involving the suspected sexual abuse of at least 10 young men over the course of more than a decade, will likely be facing at least some of his alleged victims. Sandusky, 67, has said he’s innocent.

According to Harrisburg’s The Patriot-News, which has been ahead of other news outlets on the Penn State scandal story:

“Reporters who are credentialed to attend Jerry Sandusky’s preliminary hearing are now being allowed to access email, text and tweet. The judge who first ruled to ban all transmission from the courtroom changed his mind [Monday] afternoon and decided to allow credentialed media to use the Internet.”

The newspaper is among the news outlets that plan to post live updates as the hearing happens. The hearing is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. ET. We’ll watch for news and post any highlights.

The Patriot-News also reports today that while “it might seem like Jerry Sandusky is the most hated man in the world … in the rural central Pennsylvania valley where Penn State’s water tower is one of the tallest structures, Sandusky still has supporters.”

The scandal cost both Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and school President Graham Spanier their jobs after a grand jury reported that they had been warned about some of Sandusky’s alleged actions, but did not inform police. Neither Paterno nor Spanier have been charged with a crime, but two other Penn State officials do face charges of lying to the grand jury and failing to alert authorities about the alleged abuses.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit