Jerry Sandusky faces preliminary hearing Tuesday
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP/ABC7) - Allegations that a beloved icon of Penn State's football team has secretly been a serial molester are getting their first legal test in a central Pennsylvania courtroom.
State prosecutors will have to prove Tuesday they have enough evidence to advance the case against Jerry Sandusky to Centre County court for trial.
The hearing is scheduled to get started at 8:30 a.m., and while it's unclear how many of Sandusky's accusers will actually take the stand Tuesday, the hearing promises to be the first time since the allegations surfaced that he'll face his accusers.
However, lawyers say that their clients are ready to move forward.
"It'll be more of an adversarial process for him," Ben Andreozzi, an attorney for so-called Victim No. 4, says. "I know it's going to be uncomfortable, but he's ready to go forward."
Sandusky faces more than 50 criminal counts. The hearing is expected to last a day or more.
Sandusky, 67, denies the allegations against him. He can waive the preliminary hearing, but his lawyer says he wants to lock witnesses into testimony and learn more details about the government's case.
What did McQueary see?
The testimony of former Penn State graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary was one of the lynchpins of the case. He allegedly witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a shower on the Penn State campus, according to grand jury testimony.
However, his testimony about whether he actually saw the assault or just heard it is now being called into question.
"It helps Sandusky because McQueary is the only witness, as we all know," former prosecutor Kathleen Kane says.
Public reaction mixed in Happy Valley
In State College, around the Penn State campus and near the courthouse where Sandusky will appear, people have mixed views about Tuesday's hearing.
"I want the truth to come out and I want the victims protected and taken care of," Bellefonte, Pa. resident Sally Houser says.
Meanwhile, students are still looking out for the reputation of Penn State, which took a hit in the wake of the scandal and the subsequent firing of the school's president, athletic director and legendary head coach Joe Paterno.
"I'm just tired of seeing my school being being beaten in the news," Penn State student Carlita Joseph says.