More Holes In Mike McQueary’s Story About What He Saw Sandusky Do?

Penn State Assistant Coach Mike McQueary is, as far as we know, the only independent witness to the alleged child abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky. In the Grand Jury Testimony that led to Sandusky’s first arrest, McQueary describes seeing Sandusky naked in the showers at the PSU athletic facilities with a young boy, also naked, and performing a sex act. That description, and the subsequent lack of action by Penn State authorities were the center point of the furor over the charges when they emerged last month and led in part to the end of Joe Paterno’s nearly 60 year coaching career. McQueary’s story appeared to develop some holes shortly thereafter,though. He was reported to have told friends that he had “stopped” Sandusky and gone to the police, neither of which were in the Grand Jury’s report. Additionally University Police have denied that any report was ever made to them. Now, another story has emerged that seems to have McQueary telling a different version of events to his father and a third-party who was present when McQueary went home that night:

STATE COLLEGE — Minutes after Mike McQueary says he stumbled upon something between Jerry Sandusky and a boy in a Penn State shower in 2002, he went to his father’s State College home seeking advice.

There, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend and colleague of McQueary’s father, sat with the then 28-year-old graduate assistant and listened to his very first account of what he had seen, a source told The Patriot-News.

According to the source with knowledge of Dranov’s testimony before the grand jury, it went like this:

McQueary heard “sex sounds” and the shower running, and a young boy stuck his head around the corner of the shower stall, peering at McQueary as an adult arm reached around his waist and pulled him back out of view.

Seconds later, Sandusky left the shower in a towel.

That account is different from the hand-written statement obtained by The Patriot-News that McQueary provided for investigators when he was interviewed in 2010.

It’s also different than the summary of his grand jury testimony in the 23-page initial grand jury presentment.

In both of those accounts, McQueary says he witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a boy as he stood with his hands against a shower wall.

McQueary says the pair turned and looked at him before he left.

However, Dranov told grand jurors that he asked McQueary three times if he saw anything sexual, and three times McQueary said no, according to the source.

Because of that response, the source says, Dranov told McQueary that he should talk to his boss, head football coach Joe Paterno, rather than police.

McQueary’s testimony, and this apparent contradiction, are important to several aspects of the case. First, as the article notes, it is McQueary’s testimony that formed the basis of the perjury and failure to report charges against PSU Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice-President Gary Schultz because the question of what they knew is what creates their obligation to report the incident to the authorities. Secondly, as noted, McQueary is the only independent witness to any of these acts and, at least with respect to Victim No. 2, the only witness at all since it still does not appear that the police have been able to track down the boy involved in the alleged incident in 2002, who would now be about 19 years old.

The discrepancy between what Dranov says McQueary said on the night of the incident and what is in the Grand Jury testimony is pretty significant, and is yet another example of what I described when the first round of discrepancies became public:

The problem for the prosecutors is that their star witness has now handed Sandusky’s attorney with a gold mine for cross examination that he will try to use to undercut McQueary’s credibility as a whole. It might not work, but it’s going to be a headache for the prosecution who already have to worry about how to protect the credibility of a witness that many people on the jury are likely to look on with suspicion to begin with because of his failure to act.

None of this says that Sandusky is innocent, of course, but in a criminal trial it is the burden of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, not the other way around. Witness problems like this are not helpful.

 

FILED UNDER: Crime, Education, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Stan25 says:

    It is as plain as the nose on your face, McQueary wanted the head coaching job at Penn St. He knew as long as Paterno was the coach, he would not be the head man. Dollars to a donut, when the mess is all sorted out, McQueary will be the one doing the hard time. Meanwhile, the legacy and reputation of Joe Paterno has been forever sullied by some idiot that couldn’t wait for his chance.

  2. de stijl says:

    @Stan25:

    Please provide one example of a graduate assistant being promoted to head coach in Division 1 football.

    To call your theory ludicrous is an insult to other legitimately ludicrous theories.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Stan25:

    The complete irrationality someone would have to have to think that plan would work is staggering. I’m betting he saw something inappropriate, but his story has changed so many times now that even McQueary doesn’t know what he saw anymore.

  4. Franklin says:

    @Neil Hudelson: That could be. I don’t know anything about psychology, but it seems like if McQueary was truly traumatized by what he saw, that he could be blocking some of it out now.

  5. Peacewood says:

    The far more likely explanation, in my mind, is that McQueary embellished the situation that he told to a friend to head off the natural response “Why the Hell didn’t you do anything?” and is now caught between testimonies. Chances are high he didn’t do anything to stop it and is mortified by that fact.

    As always, good old fashioned male pride gets in the way.