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Published: Wednesday, 11/16/2011

Penn State assistant says abuse was halted

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A Penn State graduate assistant cited by a grand jury report as claiming he saw an ex-assistant football coach sexually abusing a young boy in a campus locker room shower says in an email he made sure the act was stopped and then went to police -- contradicting what the report says.

Mike McQueary's comments, in an email made available to the Associated Press Tuesday, appeared to add more confusion to a scandal that has enveloped the university and resulted in the firing of head coach Joe Paterno, the ousting of university president Graham Spanier, and charges of perjury against the athletic director and a senior vice president.

Mr. McQueary, now the football team's wide receivers coach, told a friend from Penn State that he made sure the 2002 shower assault he witnessed was stopped and went to the police about it.

The friend made Mr. McQueary's email, written Nov. 8, available to the Associated Press on the condition he not be identified.

Mr. McQueary, who has been placed on administrative leave, wrote: "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 .... no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds ... trust me."

He added: "Do with this what you want … but I am getting hammered for handling this the right way ... or what I thought at the time was right … I had to make tough impacting quick decisions."

According to the grand jury report, Mr. McQueary testified he spoke to his father and then to Mr. Paterno before speaking to athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz, who oversaw campus police.

Mr. Paterno has not been charged with any crime, and state prosecutors have said he is not a target. Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz are accused of breaking the law by not going to police but maintain their innocence.

Mr. McQueary's actions have been scrutinized, with some critics suggesting he didn't do enough after witnessing what he said was the sexual abuse of a child.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's office said a $3 million state grant to the Second Mile, the charity founded by the accused child molester, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, had been put on hold.

Mr. Corbett this summer approved the grant despite knowing about the child-sex abuse investigation that later resulted in charges against Mr. Sandusky.

Mr. Corbett as attorney general supervised an investigation that began in 2008 when a 15-year-old Clinton County boy came forward with complaints that Mr. Sandusky sexually abused him.

The grant would have helped pay for the first phase of the "Center for Excellence" at the Second Mile, which Mr. Sandusky founded in 1977 to work with troubled children.

According to correspondence from Mr. Corbett's budget secretary, Charles B. Zogby, the $3 million was first budgeted by the Legislature in 2010 and approved for release by former Gov. Ed Rendell a year ago.

A grant agreement was not completed before Mr. Corbett took office, and the administration decided to review that and other grants that were pending, Mr. Zogby wrote.

Mr. Sandusky was removed from contact with children in The Second Mile after notifying agency officials he was under investigation in 2008, the agency said. He retired from the agency in 2010.

The Block News Alliance contributed to this report.



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