Jury selection begins for former President of Penn State University
The criminal trial of former Penn State University President Graham Spanier has begun in Harrisburg.
Monday was slated for jury selection, which was delayed several hours due to printing out and copying potential juror questionnaires. The juror pool was 150 people. 137 appeared before the court Monday.
Spanier faces two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one county of conspiracy, all relating to the handling of complaints against Jerry Sandusky. These complaints of child sexual abuse date back to February 2001.
State investigators claim Spanier deliberately didn’t report abuse claims to police. The attorney general’s office says that inaction led to Sandusky abusing several children before he was stopped in 2011.
Sandusky is currently serving a 30-60 year prison sentence. He is appealing his conviction.
Senior Judge John Boccabella asked potential jurors if they “loved or hated Penn State” and if those feelings would keep them from making an impartial decision.
“It’s likely that some of you have heard something about this case,” Boccabella said when the 137 potential jurors convened in the courtroom at 2 p.m. He asked those to put aside any information they’ve heard or learned about the case in recent years.
He encouraged the Dauphin County residents to focus only on the facts presented in the case during trial.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Laura Ditka named a handful of witnesses to testify against Spanier. Two of those include his former colleagues; former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz.
Among other possible witnesses include Mike McQueary, who won a lawsuit against the university last year.
Boccabella said the prosecution and defense will select 12 jurors and four alternates.
The trial could take up to two weeks, Boccabella said.