Mike McQueary, the Penn State assistant football coach who told a grand jury he witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a locker room shower in 2002, says he stopped the assault and later discussed it with police, according to an email he wrote to a friend that was obtained by The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.
That account differs from the grand jury’s synopsis of his testimony in its investigation against Sandusky, which said McQueary left “immediately” after walking in on the 2002 attack. The grand jury report, released nearly two weeks ago, also said McQueary told coach Joe Paterno about the incident and made no mention of any discussions with police.
McQueary, who testified under oath before the grand jury in December 2010, has been heavily criticized for not taking immediate action to protect the child. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett said last weekend that McQueary had “a moral obligation” to intervene.
According to the grand jury report, McQueary, then a graduate assistant on the coaching staff, was “distraught” over what he had witnessed and “immediately” retreated to his office. He called his father for advice, left the building and reported the incident to Paterno the next day.
But in the email McQueary sent Nov. 8 to a former classmate, he reportedly wrote, “I did stop it, not physically, but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room.” He also wrote he “is getting hammered for handling this the right way or what I thought at the time was right” and “I had to make tough impacting quick decisions.”
Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of minors in the wake of the investigation. He denied the allegations in a telephone interview aired on NBC Monday night, specifically stating the 2002 shower incident witnessed by McQueary did not take place the way it is described in the report. He admitted showering with the young boy, but that they were engaging only in “horseplay.”
McQueary, who was placed on administrative leave from the university last week, has not commented publicly on the case. In a brief interview with CBS News yesterday, he said “this process has to play out” before he will speak.
The grand jury report detailed eight young boys who allegedly were sexually abused by Sandusky, who coached for Paterno from 1969-99. But authorities said repeatedly since the indictment that they expect more victims to come forward in the wake of the case going public.
A Pennsylvania State Police spokesman, Maria Finn, said investigators have to vet the stories that are coming in; she said they have received calls but declined to offer specifics.
The Associated Press also reported yesterday that Paterno, fired by the university’s board of trustees last week, is expected to receive a pension of more than $500,000, according to its analysis of the state’s public pension records. Paterno, 84, worked at Penn State for 61 years.