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McQueary: I saw Sandusky in a 'wrong and sexual' act with boy

A Penn State assistant football coach testified Friday 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.
/ Source: news services

A Penn State assistant football coach testified Friday that he had no doubt he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in a sexual act with a boy in a university locker room in 2002.

"I believe he was sexually molesting the boy," Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant in the university's football program in 2002, said at a court hearing, adding at a later point that he "has no doubt" he saw Sandusky in a sexual act.

McQueary, speaking for the first time in public about the 2002 encounter, said he saw Sandusky with his hands around the boy's waist. McQueary also said he fully conveyed what he had seen to two Penn State administrators about what he told them. He testified that he reported the incident to longtime head coach Joe Paterno.

McQueary took the stand Friday morning in a Pennsylvania courtroom during a preliminary hearing for university officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who are accused of lying to a grand jury about what McQueary told them.

At the conclusion of the hearing, District Judge William C. Wenner ruled that prosecutors have enough evidence to send their cases to trial. Their lawyers say the men are innocent and contest McQueary's statements.

Conflicting accountsSince Curley's and Schultz's arrests, different versions of what McQueary witnessed have been reported. They testified to the grand jury that McQueary never relayed the seriousness of what he saw. The officials, and Paterno, have been criticized for not telling police about the 2002 allegation. Prosecutors say Sandusky continued to abuse boys for at least six more years.

McQueary told the court on Friday that he had gone into the building one night around 9 p.m. in the spring of 2002 after watching a football movie at home, which he said had motivated him to go into the building and get some work done, reported NBC News.

When he went into the locker room that night to drop off a pair of sneakers, McQueary said he saw a naked Sandusky behind a prepubescent boy he estimated to be 10 or 12 years old, with Sandusky's hands wrapped around the boy's waist. He said the boy was facing a wall, with his hands on it.

'Shocked, horrified'"I heard rhythmic slapping sounds, two or three slaps that sounded like skin on skin," McQueary testified.

But McQueary also said: "I did not see insertion nor was there any protest, screaming or yelling."

He said he was "shocked, horrified, not thinking straight. I was distraught."

Image: Mike McQueary
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)Bradley C. Bower / FR37962 AP

He said he looked 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."

The position was very "sexually oriented," McQueary said.

Under cross examination by an attorney for Curley, McQueary reiterated that he had not seen Sandusky penetrating or fondling the boy but was nearly certain he knew a sexual assault happened, in part because the two were standing so close and Sandusky's arms were wrapped around the youth.

McQueary, 27 at the time, said he called his father, John McQueary, immediately afterward and told him: "I just saw coach Sandusky. What I saw was wrong and sexual."

His father told him he needed to to report what he saw to Paterno, McQueary told the court.

McQueary then testified that he called Paterno early the following morning and told him he needed to speak with him about something.

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.

Paterno told the grand jury that McQueary reported seeing Sandusky doing something of a "sexual nature" with the youngster but that he didn't press for details.

"I didn't push Mike ... because he was very upset," Paterno said. "I knew Mike was upset, and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster."

McQueary said Paterno told him, "I'm sorry you had to see that" and that he had "done the absolute right thing." 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."

Spoke with university officials, not police
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."

Later, Thomas Harmon, the former chief of the Penn State police department, testified Schultz didn't tell him about the shower allegation.

Paterno, Schultz and Curley didn't testify, but judge Wenner read their grand jury testimony from January in weighing the case.

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.

Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing on Tuesday and will go straight to trial on 52 counts of sex abuse of boys over a 15-year period.

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.

Paterno was fired after the scandal broke.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.