Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary said he’s being vilified after witnessing an alleged sexual assault on a boy by Jerry Sandusky, even though McQueary said he went to police about it.
“I’m getting hammered for handling this the right way,” McQueary wrote in an e-mail to an unidentified friend who made it available to the Associated Press last night. “I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police.”
McQueary was placed on administrative leave by Pennsylvania State University on Nov. 11 after it said the wide receivers coach received anonymous threats. McQueary has been accused of failing to intervene or make authorities aware of an alleged 2002 attack in a shower in the school’s football building by former defensive coordinator Sandusky on a boy estimated to be 10 years old.
“I did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room,” McQueary’s e-mail said. “No one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds.”
Sandusky, 67, who denies sexual assault charges on eight boys from 1994 to 2009, said in a phone interview with NBC News two days ago that the incident didn’t occur the way McQueary described it in a grand jury report.
The former coach told NBC that the boy “actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel or horse play.”
Reported to Paterno
According to the grand jury report, McQueary, then a 28-year-old graduate assistant, told football coach Joe Paterno about what he witnessed in the locker room. Paterno told him to speak with Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz, a senior vice president who oversaw university police, according to the grand jury report.
Curley, 57, and Schultz, 62, were arraigned on charges of perjury and failing to report the allegations. The university announced on Nov. 7 that Schultz would step down and return to retirement, while Curley would be placed on administrative leave to focus on his defense.
The revelations also led to the firing of Paterno, 84, and Graham B. Spanier, 63, who was president of the university for 16 years. Spanier, former chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a sociologist and a marriage and family therapist.
The grand jury found that Paterno and McQueary met with Curley and Schultz, who reported the matter to Spanier -- who told the grand jury he was unaware the incident McQueary described was sexual in nature.
After the alleged attack, Sandusky was banned from bringing children from his foundation, The Second Mile, to Penn State, according to the grand jury report.
“What McQueary said he saw, we have information that that child says that never happened,” Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, told NBC.
Paterno will receive a pension of more than $500,000 a year when he retires, AP reported, citing its own analysis of state public pension records.
Paterno in July transferred sole ownership of his home to his wife for $1, the New York Times reported. Bought in 1969 for $58,000, the property is worth $594,484, the newspaper said. The transfer was made as part of a “multiyear estate-planning program,” the Times said, citing Paterno’s lawyer, Wick Sollers. The couple previously jointly owned the house, it reported.
Not a Pedophile
Sandusky told NBC that he isn’t a pedophile, while acknowledging he showered with young boys. He said he’s “innocent of those charges.”
His attorney said he doesn’t expect the charges to hold up.
“We anticipate we’re going to have at least several of these kids come forward and say, ‘This never happened. This is me, this is the allegation, it never occurred,’” Amendola told NBC.
Sandusky was an assistant coach from 1969 until his retirement as defensive coordinator after the 1999 season. He was once considered a possible heir to Paterno, who left Penn State after 46 seasons and a record 409 wins at college football’s top level.
All eight boys Sandusky is charged with abusing came to know the former coach through the Second Mile, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly has said. Jack Raykovitz, the chief executive of the charity for the past 28 years, stepped down three days ago.
Close to 10 more suspected victims have contacted authorities since Sandusky’s arrest, the New York Times reported Nov. 14, citing unidentified people close to the investigation.
Sandusky, who is free on $100,000 bond, told NBC he isn’t sexually attracted to young boys.
“I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts,” he said. “I have hugged them and I have touched their legs, without intent of sexual contact.”