McQueary says he told AD about assault

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports

Mike McQueary, who as a Penn State graduate assistant in 2002 says he walked in on former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky molesting a boy in the showers, stuck to his story Friday at a preliminary hearing for the school's former athletic director, who has been charged with perjury and failure to report the abuse of a minor.

McQueary is the key witness in the state's case against Tim Curley, the former AD, and Gary Schultz, a former vice president at the school.

McQueary's claim of bringing the abuse to the attention of former coach Joe Paterno also will play a role in Paterno's legacy. Paterno hasn't been accused of a crime, but his morals have been assailed for not doing enough to look into the allegations. Penn State fired Paterno in November after 46 seasons as football coach.

Under friendly questioning from state prosecutors and later direct and challenging queries from the defense, McQueary provided details that stayed in context with the grand jury's summary of his testimony released last month.

Here is a summary of the morning session of the pretrial hearing accrued from multiple media accounts from the courtroom in Harrisburg, Pa.

McQueary said he walked into what he expected to be an empty Penn State locker room late on Friday, March 1, 2002. He said he heard the shower running and "rhythmic slapping sounds, two or three slaps that would hear skin on skin."

McQueary then said he saw, in a locker-room mirror, the reflection of Sandusky and a young boy, both naked in the shower. "It appeared that Jerry was directly behind the boy and the boy had his hands up against the wall," McQueary said.

He said he didn't see if there was any penetration and couldn't be certain there was intercourse. He said he was shocked, went and slammed a locker-room door, then returned to get a clear look at what he had just seen. Sandusky and the boy were no longer were in contact.

"They had both turned so their bodies were totally facing me and looking at me," McQueary said according to reports from the court. "They were four or five feet apart."

McQueary said he said nothing to either Sandusky or the boy, but "I know they saw me; they looked directly in my eyes, both of them."

McQueary said he was "shocked, distraught and probably not thinking straight," so he left without confronting Sandusky or taking the boy with him. He said he was in the locker room for less than a minute. He felt that was appropriate because the assault had ended and they were separated.

"I was sure the act was over," McQueary testified.

He said he returned to his office and called his father, John McQueary, who lived near the Penn State campus. He said his father told him to come to his house to discuss what had happened.

Under cross-examination, McQueary said he considered calling the police but didn't, saying the situation "was delicate in nature, in my opinion, and I tried to use my best judgment."

McQueary said he met with his father and a family friend, Dr. Jonathan Dranov. He said the three spoke at length about what happened and what to do next. They settled on McQueary telling Paterno the next day.

McQueary testified that early Saturday morning, he called Paterno's home and said, "Coach, I need to come to your house and talk to you. [Paterno] said, 'I don't have a job for you if that's what it's about, so don't bother coming over if that's what it's about.' "

McQueary, who later did become a full-time assistant, assured Paterno that wasn't the issue. He said he arrived at Paterno's State College home at 8 a.m. and the two sat at the kitchen table.

McQueary said, "[I] told him I saw Jerry with a young boy in the shower and it was extremely sexual in nature." McQueary said he didn't use the terms "sodomy" or "anal sex," and only described the "rough positioning" of Sandusky and the boy. On cross-examination, he repeatedly was asked why he wasn't more specific.

"I gave a brief description of what I saw," he testified. "You don't go to Coach Paterno [then 75 years old] and go through great detail of sexual acts."

McQueary said Paterno responded, "You've done the right thing. I know it's tough for you to come here and tell me this, but you've done the right thing."

McQueary described Paterno as "shocked and saddened," and said the coach slumped back in his chair upon hearing the news.

"I'm sorry you had to see that," Paterno said, according to McQueary. "That's terrible. … I need to think and tell some people what you saw, and I'll let you know what we'll do next."

McQueary said he was at Paterno's home for about 10 minutes.

About "nine or 10" days later, McQueary said he received a call from Curley, who said Paterno had relayed the Sandusky story. (The grand jury presentment said Paterno has summoned Curley to his home the day after McQueary had visited.)

The day after Curley's call, McQueary said he met with Curley and Schultz on campus. McQueary said, "I told them 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."

He later said he conveyed that "some type of intercourse was going on." He said both men claimed they would "investigate closely and follow up with me."

McQueary said he considered Schultz to be the police because he had seen him before organizing some police activity on campus and said he knew Schultz as the administrator to whom the police reported. "In my mind, it was like speaking to the DA," McQueary said. " … In my mind, [Schultz] is the police. That's the person on campus that people report to."

Later, John McQueary testified that he and Dranov also met with Schultz, and John McQueary recalled saying, "Mike saw Jerry Sandusky in the shower room with a young boy and that between the sounds he observed and visualization he saw, there was something, at best, inappropriate going on."

In a bit of testimony that may be most damning to the defense, John McQueary said Schultz told him he was aware of previous allegations against Sandusky.

According to John McQueary: "Schultz said, 'John, there has been a noise level about this or there had been other innuendos. We've looked into them before,' and more or less said, 'We've never been able to sink our teeth into something we had substantial.' "

Mike McQueary said he later heard from Curley that "they'd followed up and looked into it" and that they'd "contacted the Second Mile [the charity Sandusky founded] and reported the incident" and "told Jerry not to have kids around the program or facility."

McQueary said he never spoke to the men about it again. He also said he never confronted Sandusky and that while he saw Sandusky in the football building, he never saw him with a boy or in the locker room again.

In another important moment, the judge, against defense objections, ruled that McQueary did not have to discuss what he told his father and Dranov, claiming it was irrelevant. The Harrisburg Patriot-News, citing a source with knowledge of Dranov's grand jury testimony, said the family friend testified that Mike McQueary relayed a different version of what he saw.

Any inconsistencies in McQueary's story will be seized upon by the defense. That is the general legal benefit of having McQueary testify at a pretrial hearing, which will merely determine whether the state has enough evidence for Curley and Schultz to be bound over for an actual trial.

Actual trials for Curley and Schultz, as well as Sandusky, who waived his pretrial hearing earlier this week, wouldn't occur until sometime in 2012.

More Penn State scandal coverage:
Wetzel: Jerry Sandusky torments accusers by waiving hearing
New priorities slow Penn State's football coach search to a crawl
Forde-Yard Dash: Damage done extends beyond Penn State