Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary, right, arrives at Dauphin County Court surrounded by heavy security Friday, Dec 16, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa. McQueary declined to speak to reporters Friday as he entered the courthouse in Harrisburg for the hearing for Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, who are set to appear for a preliminary hearing related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MARK SCOLFORO
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Penn State assistant football coach testified today that he believes he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually molesting a boy but said he wasn’t 100 percent sure it was intercourse.
Mike McQueary, speaking for the first time in public about the 2002 encounter in a Penn State locker room, said he believes that Sandusky was attacking the child with his hands around the boy’s waist. He also said there was no doubt in his mind that he fully conveyed what he had seen to two Penn State administrators now accused of lying to a grand jury about what McQueary told them.
McQueary took the stand today in a Pennsylvania courtroom during a preliminary hearing for the two officials, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
McQueary said he saw Sandusky was behind a boy he estimated to be 10 or 12 years old, with his hands wrapped around the boy’s waist. He said the boy was facing a wall, with his hands on it.
He said he peeked into the shower several times and that the last time he looked in, Sandusky and the boy had separated. He said he didn’t say anything, but “I know they saw me. They looked directly in my eye, both of them.”
McQueary said he reported what he saw to coach Joe Paterno.
He said he did not give Paterno explicit details of what he believed he’d seen, saying he wouldn’t have used terms like sodomy or anal intercourse out of respect for the longtime coach.
He said Paterno told him he’d “done the right thing” by reporting what he saw. The head coach appeared shocked and saddened and slumped back in his chair, McQueary said.
Paterno told McQueary he would talk to others about what he’d reported.
Nine or 10 days later, McQueary said he met with Curley and Shultz and told them he’d seen Sandusky and a boy, both naked, in the shower after hearing skin on skin slapping sounds.
“I told them that I saw Jerry in the showers with a young boy and that what I had seen was extremely sexual and over the lines and it was wrong,” McQueary said. “I would have described that it was extremely sexual and I thought that some kind of intercourse was going on.”
McQueary said he was left with the impression both men took his report seriously. When asked why he didn’t go to police, he referenced Shultz’s position as a vice president at the university who had overseen the campus police
“I thought I was talking to the head of the police, to be frank with you,” he said. “In my mind it was like speaking to a (district attorney). It was someone who police reported to and would know what to do with it.”
Curley and Schultz are charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to properly report what McQueary allegedly told them. Their lawyers say the men are innocent and contest McQueary’s statements
District Judge William C. Wenner was hearing testimony today to help him decide whether state prosecutors have enough evidence against the pair to send their cases to trial.
Sandusky says he is innocent of more than 50 charges stemming from what authorities say were sexual assaults over 15 years on 10 boys in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere. The scandal has provoked strong criticism that Penn State officials didn’t do enough to stop Sandusky, and prompted the departures of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno and the school’s longtime president, Graham Spanier.
Curley, 57, Penn State’s athletic director, was placed on leave by the university after his arrest. Schultz, 62, returned to retirement after spending about four decades at the school, most recently as senior vice president for business and finance, and treasurer.
Curley and Schultz testified to the grand jury that McQueary never relayed the seriousness of what he saw and that they told Spanier what they knew before telling Sandusky not to bring children on to campus.