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Wed November 16, 2011
Penn State Scandal: Key Witness Says He Did Talk With University Police
In an email to a friend, Mike McQueary says he did speak with Penn State University police after seeing what he says was former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the team's locker room.
Harrisburg's Patriot-News writes that McQueary, who at the time of the 2002 incident was a graduate assistant with the football team and later became an assistant coach, says in the email that:
"I did stop it, not physically ... but made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room ... I did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police."
The issue of whether he spoke with police is important because a grand jury report issued when Sandusky was arrested stated that McQueary was never questioned by university police. And McQueary, who has been put on administrative leave, has been under fire for allegedly not doing more to alert authorities to what he says he saw. It was previously reported that he did tell then-head football coach Joe Paterno about the incident.
McQueary spoke with CBS News briefly on Tuesday. He said he's been "shaken" by the scandal that has rocked Penn State.
Sandusky, who says he's innocent, is charged with 40 counts related to the alleged sexual abuse of at least eight boys over more than a decade. His arrest led to the firing of Paterno and the resignation of university President Graham Spanier, who had been warned about what Sandusky had allegedly been doing but did not contact police, according to the grand jury. Two other university officials have been indicted for allegedly not telling authorities about the assaults and for allegedly lying to the grand jury.
Other new developments related to the scandal story include:
-- The mother of one of Sandusky's suspected victims tells ABC News' Good Morning America that "it sickened me" when Sandusky said on NBC-TV Monday night that he's innocent and only "horsed around" when he showered with young boys.
-- Paterno, according to The New York Times, "transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July." At that time, the grand jury's investigation had been underway for more than a year. Paterno's lawyer told the Times that the transfer was part of the Paternos' estate planning and unrelated to the scandal that would explode four months later. One lawyer who examined the transaction for the Times said, however, that it could have been intended to protect Paterno financially in the event of a civil suit.
-- News of the scandal has led other victims of abuse to come forward, NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reported on Morning Edition: "Several attorneys told NPR they've seen a spike in phone calls from people with long buried secrets. Kelly Clark, an attorney in Portland, Ore., says about 30 of them came forward last week with stories of abuse by Boy Scout leaders, Catholic priests, Mormon leaders and family members. Clark says the events at Penn State have motivated a larger and more diverse group than church scandals have, because a sports scandal reaches a larger audience."