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Published: Wednesday, 6/13/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Penn State witnesses detail abuse

Ex-grad assistant assertive about what he saw; alleged victim cries

BY PAULA REED WARD
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after the second day of testimony at his trial in Bellefonte, Pa. Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after the second day of testimony at his trial in Bellefonte, Pa.
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BELLEFONTE, Pa. — In a voice that was strong, clear, and steadfast, former Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary told a jury that he had "no doubt" that he saw Jerry Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the locker room showers in February, 2001.

That demeanor was in stark contrast to the 18-year-old who testified first on Tuesday, who repeatedly cried on the stand, and at one point during cross-examination became so frustrated that he held his face in his hands and cried, "Oh, God."

It was the second day of trial for Mr. Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. The prosecution got through seven witnesses, but it was Mr. McQueary and the young man known as Victim No. 1 who held the gallery rapt.

The alleged victim spent nearly 2.5 hours on the stand, detailing — much like the man known as Victim No. 4 did on Monday — a relationship with Mr. Sandusky that evolved from going with him on family outings and to sporting events, to overnight stays at the man's State College home to repeated sexual abuse over a period of years.

The teen told the jury of seven women and five men that he met the defendant after attending two or three summer camps through the Second Mile, Mr. Sandusky's charity for underprivileged children. The first time the witness said he went on a family outing with Mr. Sandusky, it was to a dam to swim. The defendant threw him and other children there into the water — echoing a refrain by Victim No. 4.

The witness told the jury that he lived in public housing in Lock Haven, Pa., with his mother and two younger siblings. He wrestled in elementary school and liked football and track. Though it appeared the young man had a good relationship with his grandfather, he testified that he never knew his father, and, again, Mr. Sandusky filled that role.

The young man said his mother never questioned the relationship.

"She didn't think anything was up. She didn't think anything was wrong," he testified. "In some ways, she encouraged it."

Later, he continued, "My mom thought I was doing stuff she couldn't do with me. She enjoyed the fact that I had a role model."

In the beginning of his relationship with Mr. Sandusky, the witness said he would sleep over at the defendant's house occasionally on a weekend, but in the summers, he would spend days there on end. He primarily slept on a waterbed in a spare room in the basement.

The young man repeated another element of Victim No. 4's testimony: "He put his hand on my leg and just kind of kept it there while he was driving. I really didn't think anything of it."

Becoming physical

During his testimony, the witness described how the relationship with Mr. Sandusky became physical.

"At first, he would kiss me on the forehead good night. Then it came to him kissing me on the cheek, and then him rubbing my back and pulling me on top of him and cracking my back," the man said.

"I kind of thought, he sees me as family, and maybe this is what his family does," the witness said. "I didn't say anything. I didn't, honestly, think it was anything wrong."

He told the jury that Mr. Sandusky's wife, Dottie, never entered the basement during these episodes.

As Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan moved into more graphic parts of the testimony, he gave the witness notice.

"Are you OK?" the prosecutor asked.

The young man took a deep breath and said, "OK."

He then told the jurors that Mr. Sandusky kissed his lips, rubbed his back and his buttocks, blew on his stomach and then performed oral sex on him. As he testified, he attempted to keep his composure. But then he looked directly at Mr. Sandusky at the defense table, shook his head, and looked away.

"He put his mouth on my privates," he said. "I didn't know what to do. I just kind of blacked out. I was frozen."

The prosecutor asked, "after that happened, did you tell your mom?"

"No," the witness answered.

"Did you tell him to stop?"

"No. I didn't know what to say. I was embarrassed, confused. I didn't know what to do."

Over the next many months and years, the witness said Mr. Sandusky always followed the same routine for the abuse. It would be at bedtime, in the basement of the house when he slept over. He estimated it happened 80 percent to 90 percent of the times he stayed with the family.

The young man said at one point, Mr. Sandusky, "looked at me and said something along the lines of, ‘it's your turn,' and he made me," he paused, beginning to cry, "put my mouth on his privates."

The boy said he was about 12 then. When the abuse began, he said, he started acting out, wetting the bed, and getting in fights, "stuff I wouldn't normally do."

Some time later, the boy asked his mother how to look up sex offenders online. When she asked why, he told her he thought Mr. Sandusky might be one. His mother set up an appointment with his guidance counselor, and in November, 2008, the case was referred to Clinton County Children & Youth Services and the state police.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Joe Amendola questioned the witness about how many times the alleged abuse occurred.

In his initial statement to school officials, he never mentioned oral sex and did not mention it the first time he spoke with CYS either.

Later, as Mr. Amendola continued to question him on the number of instances, the witness' frustration was palpable.

"You're, you're," he put his face in his hands. "Oh, God."

When the defense attorney asked if the witness wanted a break, he responded, "I'd like you to stop asking me the same questions."

McQueary strong

Unlike Victim No. 1, Mr. McQueary held up strong under cross-examination.

In highly anticipated questioning, defense attorney Karl Rominger did not appear to break any new ground with the former Penn State graduate assistant and coach.

Mr. McQueary testified that he went to Penn State's Lasch football building on a Friday night in February, 2001, to do some work, when he stopped in the support staff locker room to put away new sneakers.

As he opened the door, he said he could hear showers running and "smacking sounds. Skin on skin smacking sounds.

"I immediately became alerted and embarrassed that I was walking in on something."

As he opened his locker just inside the door, Mr. McQueary told the jury he got a glimpse in the bathroom mirror over his right shoulder into the showers.

"I see in the mirror Jerry Sandusky standing behind a boy who is propped up against the shower. The boy's hands are against the wall."

Shocked by what he'd seen, Mr. McQueary said he turned around, walked two to three paces so he could look directly into the showers.

"I didn't want to trust the mirror," he said. He saw the same thing, describing Mr. Sandusky's arms around the boy's midsection.

‘Extremely alarmed'

Mr. McQueary described himself as "extremely alarmed, extremely flustered, extremely shocked."

"You don't expect to see anything like that ever. This is the Penn State football building."

To try to alert them someone was in the room, Mr. McQueary said he slammed his locker door as hard as he could, and when he looked again, Mr. Sandusky and the boy were separated by 3 to 5 feet.

"They both saw me. I saw the fronts of their bodies. We looked into each others' eyes. I would say the little boy came up to chest height. He was prepubescent, 10 to 12 years old," Mr. McQueary said.

He testified that he did not do anything to stop what had happened.

Mr. McQueary quickly went to his office, called his father, and then left the building to speak to him.

John McQueary, along with a colleague, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, told his son to call Coach Joe Paterno the next day to report what he'd seen.

Mike McQueary said that he didn't use graphic description with either his father or Mr. Paterno.

"I made sure he knew it was extremely wrong, extremely sexual," he said of his father.

In talking with Mr. Paterno, he said he did not go into "gross detail, out of respect and probably my own embarrassment."

Mr. Paterno then reported the incident to athletic director Tim Curley, who alerted Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz.

Mike McQueary insisted during his testimony that he thought speaking to Mr. Schultz, who oversaw the university police, was the same thing as going to law enforcement.

On cross-examination, Mr. Rominger attempted to point out inconsistencies in Mr. McQueary's testimony before the grand jury and in court, but each time, the witness repeated his assertions that he saw Mr. Sandusky in a sexual act with a boy.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Paula Reed Ward is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.

Contact Paula Reed Ward at: pward@post-gazette.com, or 412-263-2620.



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