The trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky began on Monday, and both the defense and prosecution have made their opening statements.
The former assistant coach faces 52 criminal counts that he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years, although he has denied all charges.
In his statement, defense attorney Joe Amendola argued that the men who will be testifying against Sandusky, arguing that he sexually abused them when they were children, are "accusers" and not victims, and have a financial interest in the case.
This was a response to prosecution telling the jury that the former coach was a "predatory pedophile" who took advantage of young boys in a vulnerable state under his leadership, The Associated Press shared.
Amendola acknowledged that Sandusky has admitted to having showered with young boys back at Penn State, but the lawyer argued that there was nothing criminal or sexual about such actions.
The prosecutor, Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III, used pictures of the accusers that he showed to the jury, explaining to the five men and seven women on the panel that Sandusky's alleged crimes stretched "not over days, not over weeks, not even over months, but in some cases over years." He then expressed that Sandusky groomed the young men by buying them gifts, before sexually abusing them.
"They are real people with real experience," McGettigan said. "You will know they were violated."
It was expected that a number of alleged victims will take the stand and share their stories about Sandusky. The jurors will have to determine how credible they are, and whether the former assistant coach really crossed the line into sexual abuse.
Judge John Cleland, who is presiding over the case, rejected requests by the defense to have the trial delayed, as it is still trying to have some of the counts against Sandusky dismissed.