The Penn State assistant coach tells a jury what he saw in the Penn State showers
Mike McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback and graduate student testified that he saw Jerry Sandusky "molesting a young boy" in the Penn State showers in 2002.
This is the first time that McQueary has testified publicly to what he saw since the child sexual abuse scandal broke.
McQueary, who has had rumors swirling around him that he has told different version of this story privately, went on record in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania courtroom today.
McQueary testified that in 2002 he walked into the showers of Penn State and saw Sandusky and a young boy in the shower. He didn't see them directly initially, but in the reflection of a mirror.
McQueary testified that he "heard 'rhythmic slapping sounds' as he entered locker room. Said he saw boy with hands on shower wall with Jerry's arms wrapped around waist, and when asked by an attorney exactly what he saw, McQueary said, "I did not see insertion or hear screaming or yelling...I believe they were having some kind of intercourse. He moved toward shower and Sandusky separated from the boy. He didn't say anything and left. I was distraught. I was horrified."
McQueary testified that he did not say anything to Sandusky.
"They had turned so their bodies were both facing me. ... They looked directly in my eyes," he said. "Seeing that they were separated, I thought it was best that I leave the locker room."
He also said that he felt "shocked" and "horrified" after the incident.
"I was not thinking straight," he said.
After leaving the Penn State locker room, McQueary said that he immediately called his father, who told him to come to his house immediately, which was around 9:30 on Friday night. After speaking with his dad, his father told him he needed to tell Joe Paterno.
According to McQueary he called Joe the next morning at around 7:30am and told him he needed to speak with him. Paterno reportedly quipped, "Well, I don't have a job for you, so there's no point in coming over."
McQueary went to his house, say at his kitchen table and told coach Paterno what he saw. When asked by a lawyer if he made it clear that what he saw was "sexual in nature," McQueary responded "without a doubt."
Paterno, according to McQueary "slumped in his chair" and told McQueary that he "did the right thing" and expressed remorse that "you had to see something like that."
When asked why he went to Paterno, McQueary said that "he knew Joe would handle this the right way."
So let's go over what Mike McQueary saw and did. He saw Sandusky performing some sort of sexual act on a young boy in a Penn State shower (although he said he couldn't be sure it was intercourse, he was sure it was something sexual) and he said absolutely nothing and went home and called his dad.
Now before McQueary is ostracized for his inaction, we need to put ourselves in his shoes (no, we're not condoning his inaction). But McQueary was a Penn State lifer. And on Penn State's campus, Jerry Sandusky was just a notch below Joe Paterno in the God-like pedestal of Penn State sports. Imagine walking in on Joe Paterno performing this act with a young boy. You probably wouldn't believe your eyes.
Before we play armchair quarterback to what Mike McQueary should or shouldn't have done (I would like to think I would have stopped the abuse and taken Sandusky to jail personally after performing a citizen's arrest), think about the actual moment and how you would have really reacted if you saw a well-respected member of your community in a shower with a young boy.
I think it's important that Mike McQueary doesn't become the scapegoat for Sandusky's horrific action and Joe Paterno's almost equally horrific inaction. Yes, he should have done more. But let's not kill the messenger because it's easy to say what you would or would not have done if you had seen this lionized figure doing this despicable act.
Instead, we should call into question the idea of how an institution turns mortal men into immortal, larger than life figures. We saw this same inaction and fear in the Catholic Church's dealing with pedohilia.