(Reuters) - State prosecutors want former Penn State University football coach Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse trial to be heard by a jury brought in from another county, saying the case would be in peril if the jury was composed of local residents.
The attorney general's office, which also agreed to hand over the names of 10 alleged victims to Sandusky's lawyers, cited the heavy media attention the case have received in asking for an outside jury to be used.
The unblinking eye of the press has been focused on a case which is without analogue or peer in the history of the commonwealth, said Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan, according to filings posted to the court's website on Tuesday.
He added that Centre Country, where the university is located, has a special and inextricable intertwined relationship with Penn State.
The citizens of Centre County feel a laudable and proper sense of ownership of, and participation in, the fortunes of Penn State, the prosecutor said. To ask members of that community to breakdown that alloy and insulate themselves from the institution... is asking too much.
Sandusky's attorney said he would vehemently oppose the motion to use an outside jury.
Sandusky, 67, was charged November 5 with 40 counts of molesting eight boys over a 15 year period. He had been freed after posting $100,000 after those charges were filed in November.
In December, he was arrested a second time and prosecutors added charges that raised the number of sex abuse victims to 10. He has been under house arrest since he was freed on $250,000 bail following his second arrest with restrictions.
His indictment last November prompted Penn State to fire Joe Paterno, the beloved long-time head coach who died on January 22. His arrest also triggered the ouster of university president Graham Spanier.
Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said he is very disappointed with the commonwealth's petition to use an outside jury.
We feel there's no better place than Centre County from which to select fair minded individuals to sit as jurors in Jerry's case, Amendola said.
Separately, the attorney general's office agreed to turn over the names of the 10 boys Sandusky is accused of molesting, but are objecting to defense requests for information. In court records, they have simply been referred to as victims 1-10.