Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- A Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach told a judge that he reported seeing Jerry Sandusky “sexually molesting” a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower in 2002.
The assistant coach, Michael McQueary, 37, was called to testify today in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, state court in a hearing to decide whether there’s enough evidence to try Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley, 57, and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz, 62, on perjury charges. They are accused of lying to a grand jury about what McQueary told them and with failing to report Sandusky to police.
“There is no question in my mind that I conveyed to them that I saw Jerry with a boy in the showers and that it was severe sexual acts going on and that it was wrong and over the line,” McQueary testified.
Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the football team, faces more than 40 criminal counts tied to the alleged sexual molestation of 10 boys from 1994 to 2009. He has pleaded not guilty. Curley and Schultz, who face as long as seven years in prison if convicted of perjury, deny wrongdoing.
At the heart of the case against Curley and Schultz is their testimony in January to a grand jury investigating Sandusky. Curley denied that McQueary reported anal sex or anything of a sexual nature and termed the conduct “horsing around,” according to the grand jury report.
Schultz was initially unsure about what he remembered McQueary telling him, while later conceding the report was of inappropriate sexual conduct, according to court documents.
McQueary today recounted what he said he witnessed in 2002. He said he went to a football building on the Penn State campus to fetch some video tapes. When he got there, he first heard “rhythmic slapping sounds” and then the sound of showers running. Then he saw Sandusky standing directly behind a boy in the shower. They were both naked and Sandusky had his arms around the boy at about waist level, McQueary said.
“I believe Jerry was sexually molesting him,” McQueary testified. McQueary said he took steps toward the shower, and the boy and Sandusky separated.
Neither Sandusky nor the boy spoke or made any sound while McQueary was there, he said. They both looked directly at him before he left, McQueary said. McQueary said he went to his office and called his father, leaving the building six or seven minutes later without returning to the shower area.
McQueary, a graduate assistant at the time, said he spoke to Joe Paterno, the head football coach, about the incident the following day. Paterno was “shocked and saddened,” McQueary said. He said he made it clear to Paterno that what he saw was sexual in nature but didn’t detail the act explicitly or use the words sodomy or anal intercourse.
McQueary said that when he later met with Curley and Schultz, he told them the incident was “extremely sexual in nature” without using the terms “anal sex” or “sodomy.” Under cross-examination by Curley’s attorney Caroline Roberto, he said he couldn’t remember whether he said “in nature.”
Neither Curley nor Schultz, who oversaw university police, reported the incident to law enforcement or attempted to learn the identity of the alleged victim, identified in the grand jury report as Victim 2.
Thomas Harmon, the former director of university police at Penn State, testified that his force wasn’t made aware of the 2002 incident. He said he would have investigated and consulted with the district attorney, as he did in a 1998 incident involving Sandusky. Harmon said Schultz was his boss.
McQueary testified that he thought speaking to Schultz, the head of campus security, was tantamount to talking to the police or the district attorney.
“It was someone who things were reported to and would know what to do with it,” McQueary said.
His father, John McQueary, testified he told Schultz about the incident in a separate conversation at his office with his boss Jonathan Dranov.
“I would think I said it had sexual overtones, that it appeared to be sexual in nature,” said John McQueary, who testified he had a cordial working relationship with Schultz. “I was expecting that something would be done.”
Schultz kept his head down taking notes for most of the hearing, looking up to hear John McQueary’s testimony. Curley focused on each witness as they took the stand, listening with his head leaned to one side.
Defense attorneys Roberto and Tom Farrell sought to poke holes in Michael McQueary’s testimony by raising questions about what Dranov was told about the incident.
John McQueary testified on the night of the incident he called Dranov, who arrived at his home shortly after his son. Magisterial District Judge William Wenner limited most of the cross-examination questions on Dranov.
Dranov, a doctor and family friend, allegedly testified to a grand jury that Michael McQueary didn’t describe anything sexual on the night of the incident, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported on Dec. 11.
Dranov told grand jurors he asked McQueary three times if he saw anything sexual, and three times McQueary said no, the Patriot-News said. Because of that response, Dranov told McQueary he should talk to Paterno, rather than police. Wenner barred questions about Dranov after state prosecutors objected that it was beyond the scope of today’s hearing.
The case against Sandusky led to the firings of Paterno, whom Sandusky worked under for 30 years, and university President Graham Spanier. Paterno and Spanier weren’t charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
The cases are Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Curley, MJ12303-cr-0000353-2011, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Schultz, MJ12303-cr-0000354-2011, Magisterial District Judge 12-3-03, Dauphin County (Harrisburg).
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