After about seven months since charges were filed, more than 150 court documents filed by attorneys and a handful of public hearings later, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's trial began at 9:10 a.m. Monday morning at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
And that morning, the incidents that were outlined in two grand jury presentments came to life through the words of the person referred to as “Victim 4,” as he testified about the abuse he said Sandusky inflicted on him.
Attorneys representing both Sandusky and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania started out with opening statements, outlining each party's major arguments they will present throughout the case.
Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys who he met through his charity The Second Mile -- many of the offenses are said to have occurred on Penn State's campus. He is currently on house arrest.
Joe McGettigan, the lead prosecutor in the case, began by displaying pictures of eight of the 10 boys referenced in the grand jury presentments. The pictures displayed showed the people at the age they were at the times when prosecutors say Sandusky abused them.
“They are real people with real experiences,” McGettigan said as he showed the images.
Two of the 10 boys' pictures were not shown because they have not reported the abuse to authorities.
The former coach is charged with abusing these two people as a result eyewitness accounts.
McGettigan outlined descriptions of the people who said Sandusky abused them --- one is a Penn State alumnus, he said, while one serves in the armed forces and two are recent high school graduates.
The prosecutor also told jurors that six of the people who said Sandusky abused them did not grow up with their fathers in their lives, and three of the six never met their own fathers.
He said Sandusky used his fame as a football coach to "cultivate" the boys to spend time with him and that he looked for those who were the "most vulnerable" to reach out to.
Though there are many other aspects of the case that do not directly involve Sandusky, like the way Penn State officials handled reports that Sandusky abused a boy on campus, McGettigan stressed that those organizations - specifically Penn State and The Second Mile - are not on trial. Sandusky is the one on trial, he said.
During his opening argument, McGettigan displayed a slide on a screen in the courtroom bearing the words "humiliation," "shame" and "fear." McGettigan explained that these three feelings often result in "silence," which explains why the boys who said Sandusky abused them didn't come forward sooner.
He also told jurors small stories about the offenses prosecutors say Sandusky committed and explained to jurors the process that occurred before Sandusky was arrested in 2011.
McGettigan also called The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded, a "perfect environment" for a "predatory pedophile."
After a short break, Sandusky's defense attorney Joe Amendola was given the chance to set up his argument to defend Sandusky of the charges against him.
Amendola said many of the people who said Sandusky abused them have a "financial interest" in the case and said it is "absolutely totally unusual for an alleged victim to have an attorney aside from the Commonwealth."
He said many of the people who said Sandusky abused them will testify that they showered with him. But, Amendola said showering with someone else is not a crime.
It was "routine" for people of Sandusky's generation and for people involved in team sports to shower together, Amendola said.
The defense does not believe former assistant coach Mike McQueary lied about what he thought he saw in the locker room one night when he witnessed Sandusky showering with a young boy, Amendola said. But, he said McQueary did not actually see anything sexual occurring, he just "assumed" something inappropriate was happening.
At least two of the eight identified boys who Sandusky is charged with abusing have maintained relationships with the former defensive coordinator even after the dates when the incidents connected to his charges took place, Amendola said.
He told jurors that defending Sandusky is a daunting task for him to take on, especially since the Commonwealth has "unlimited" access to resources. He compared it to climbing Mount Everest.
The former football coach's attorney stressed to jurors that there aren't any victims in the case.
"Victims only come about after you 12 determine they are victims," Amendola said.
When the trial officially commenced, Senior Judge John Cleland swore in the jurors and reminded them of the importance of the job they were about to begin.
He said that though many of the jurors have connections to Penn State or people who are involved in the case, he believes they will be able to do their jobs fairly.
"You are, in short, a cross section of the citizens of Centre County," Cleland said. "You are a jury of the defendant's peers and you represent the conscience of this community."
The trial is expected to last three weeks and not extend past the last day of June.