Mike McQueary, a former assistant coach at Penn State, testified today that former coach Joe Paterno told him the university had not properly responded to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal and warned him that officials would seek to make him a scapegoat.
McQueary, the former assistant who testified that he saw Sandusky raping a boy in a Penn State shower and told Paterno and officials about it, was called to testify in a hearing in Harrisburg, Pa., to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for former president Graham Spanier, retired university vice president Gary Schultz and then-athletic director Tim Curley. They are charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy.
McQueary described telling Paterno about what he had seen and later was summoned to tell Curley and Schultz. From The Morning Call:
“I told them I had seen Jerry Sandusky involved in a sexual situation, sexual molestation incident, in the Penn State locker room,” he said.
But in the months and years that passed, no one other than Paterno mentioned the incident again until investigators contacted McQueary in November 2010, the former Penn State quarterback testified.
“What did he say to you?” Chief Deputy Attorney General Bruce Beemer asked.
“He said, ‘Old Main screwed up,'” McQueary testified.
Old Main, a stately building near the center of campus, houses the upper echelon of Penn State’s administrative offices.
Although McQueary couldn’t recall when Paterno said that, he recalled another conversation on the night of Paterno’s firing in November 2011.
“He said the university is going to come down hard on you,” McQueary said (via PennLive.com). “‘Don’t worry about me. They’re going to try to scapegoat you. Trust your lawyers. Don’t trust [the school’s general counsel] Cynthia Baldwin. Don’t trust Old Main.’ I’m sorry, but that’s what he said.”
Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60 year sentence on his conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Paterno died in January 2012. Neither Penn State nor the Paterno family has commented on the hearing.