Fri December 16, 2011
McQueary Testifies At Sandusky Hearing
Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 6:27 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
To Harrisburg, Pennsylvania now, where Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were in court today, for charges related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. Sandusky has been charged with abusing 10 boys but maintains he's innocent. A judge ruled that there is enough evidence for Curley and Schultz to be tried on charges they failed to report child abuse allegations and then lied to a grand jury.
Among those who testified today was assistant football coach Mike McQueary. He says he witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the Penn State locker room shower.
NPR's Jeff Brady was in the courtroom. He joins us now. And, Jeff, what did Mike McQueary say in his testimony today?
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: You know, he certainly was the one witness everyone here was waiting for. And since that grand jury report was released last month, there have been a few stories out there that indicated McQueary's recollection of what happened in the locker room wasn't clear. But what he said today tracks pretty well with what was in that original grand jury report. And that is that he showed up at the locker room on a Friday night, heard the sound of skin slapping on skin.
And, as he was putting shoes away in his locker, McQueary says he saw Jerry Sandusky in the shower with a boy who appeared to be 10 or 12 years old. McQueary says it appeared to him they were engaged in some type of intercourse. McQueary says he slammed his locker door and went to the shower. By that time, he says, Sandusky and the boy had separated and that Sandusky had a blank look on his face.
McQueary says nothing was ever said, not by him, Sandusky or the boy during that entire encounter.
BLOCK: And after that, what did Mike McQueary say about whether he reported this to anyone? And, if he did, what he say?
BRADY: Well, McQueary says he called his father and told him what happened. Then together with a family friend, they decided not to call police but instead to call head football coach Joe Paterno. Under Pennsylvania law that's really all he had to do. McQueary says Paterno then reported the incident to athletic director, Jim Curley. McQueary says it was another nine or 10 days before he had a meeting with Curley and also vice president Jerry Schultz, who oversees the campus police.
BLOCK: And then what did Curley and Schultz do with that information?
BRADY: Well, from what we heard today, not very much. McQueary says that they told him that they reported the incident to the charity that Sandusky founded for at-risk kids, The Second Mile, and then barred Sandusky from bringing kids to the locker room. And this is where the perjury allegations come in against Curley and Schultz.
They said McQueary only told them that what happened was horsing around. And Curley specifically said that McQueary denied that anything of a sexual nature happened. Who's lying or not, that's likely to be determined at trial.
BLOCK: And it's worth pointing out, this hearing today was not part of the trial per se. What was the purpose of what happened today?
BRADY: Well, this is a preliminary hearing. And in Pennsylvania, the grand jury issues a report. Then the prosecutor has to go before a judge to prove that there's enough evidence to move the case forward, first to a formal arraignment and then ultimately to trial. And that's where we are today.
BLOCK: OK. And then, again as we said, the judge ruled that there is enough evidence for these two administrators to be tried.
Jeff Brady joining us from the courthouse in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Jeff, thanks very much.
BRADY: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.