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Drawing to Decide Public Attendance at Sandusky Preliminary Hearing

on December 06, 2011 8:46 AM

Members of the public who want to attend Jerry Sandusky's preliminary hearing will need to enter a lottery-style drawing, the Centre County government announced Monday.

The hearing, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Centre County Courthouse, will mark Sandusky's first court appearance since his arraignment Nov. 5 before District Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Charged with 40 criminal counts, the former Penn State assistant football coach is accused of a prolonged pattern of child sexual abuse.

A limited number of seats will be available for members of the general public, according to a county-government statement. Those who want to attend will need to submit an application through a county web page.

It will open to applications at noon Wednesday -- Dec. 7 -- and will remain open through noon Thursday. Each person who applies will need to submit his or her name and e-mail address.

A random drawing will decide which applicants may attend the hearing. Those whose names are drawn will be notified via e-mail by Friday, according to the county.

In a prepared statement, it emphasized that there will be no general-admission or first-come-first-serve seating at the courthouse for the hearing. It will be held in Courtroom No. 1.

Court officials have not yet decided how many seats will be available for the general public, according to a Centre Daily Times report.

News media hoping to attend to the hearing will need to apply for credentials.

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