National Guard sent on standby ahead of sexual assault verdict in Penn State case

Philadelphia’s National Guard was put on standby ahead of an anticipated verdict in the viral sexual assault trial of a former Penn State fraternity member.

Lt. Col. Ron Lovallo, spokesman for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, which is stationed at the Army National Guard base at Fort Indiantown Gap, said Tuesday that the unit was notified that it was no longer needed to respond to natural disasters.

That prompted the unit to add three battalions to the 30 assigned to the National Guard Bureau in the state — one from each of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts — to be used to provide “extra security” for people waiting to hear the verdict in the sexual assault trial of Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old Beta Theta Pi pledge.

The specific nature of the increased security remains unclear, Lovallo said.

A jury will begin deliberations Tuesday in the first of two trials that charges 18 current and former Penn State fraternity members with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and related offenses in the death of Piazza, a freshman pledge from Lebanon County.

The second trial, in Monroe County, is scheduled to start Oct. 24.

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