McQueary takes stand in Sandusky trial
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 11:12 a.m.
Jerry Sandusky, 68, is on trial on charges of sexually abusing 10 young boys over a span of 15 years, at times inside Penn State athletic facilities. Sandusky is the former football defensive coordinator who worked under legendary coach Joe Paterno, who died of cancer in January, two months after a shocking grand jury report detail ed the accusations against Sandusky.
The scandal led to Paterno's firing and cost the university more than $10 million so far. Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina and lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola selected a jury of seven women and five men – there are also four alternates. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.
Tribune-Review staff writers Debra Erdley and Adam Smeltz are in Bellefonte providing updates from the Centre County courthouse throughout the trial.
BELLEFONTE--Michael McQueary testified this afternoon that he couldn't believe his eyes when he stumbled upon Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a deserted Penn State locker room shower in February 2001.
He stepped around the corner and took a second look, he told jurors.
“I saw coach Sandusky standing right behind a boy with the boy's arms up against the shower wall and Coach Sandusky's arms wrapped around the boy's midsection, as close as you could be,” he said.
The former football graduate assistant, testifying for the prosecution, added the account of yet another victim to the tally at Sandusky's child sex abuse trial, bringing the number jurors have heard to three in the second day of trial.
McQueary conceded there was some confusion about the date of the incident that prosecutors originally pegged as being March of 2002.
“Without a doubt,” he told Sandusky's lawyer, Karl Rominger. But, he added, both his original written statement and grand jury testimony noted it could have been 2001.
Two of Sandusky's alleged victims, now ages 18 and 28, were the first to take the stand. The child McQueary said he saw Sandusky with in the showers has never been located or identified. Charges were filed based on McQueary's account alone.
Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary this afternoon told jurors about seeing Sandusky with a boy in a campus shower. It's the second time McQueary has testified publicly about his 2001 encounter in the Penn State football building. He also testified at a preliminary hearing for two Penn State administrators, although he said then the incident was in 2002.McQueary says Sandusky was standing behind a boy who was propped up against a wall. He says the boy appeared to be about 10 to 12 years old. He says he closed a locker loudly "in an attempt to say 'someone's here, break it up."' He says he then called his father.
12:48 p.m.: The recent high school graduate whose complaint launched the grand jury investigation that rocked Penn State and culminated in Jerry Sandusky's arrest and brought down legendary football coach Joe Paterno broke down in tears frequently during testimony this morning. But the 18-year-old, identified as “Victim 1,” at one point composed himself and looked Sandusky in the eye as he answered defense attorney Joseph Amendola's questions about inconsistencies in his statements to investigators involved in the three year-probe that uncovered allegations of abuse involving nine other boys. He conceded that on different occasions he told investigators Sandusky performed oral sex on him 25 times, then told a grand jury it happened 12 times and then said it was 20 times. “There was a lot of stress in me not wanting to say what happened. I will say that they were two separate statements, but I was scared. I did tell the truth,” he said, adding that he was able to recall more of his story as he became more comfortable in the telling of it. “When a new person steps in to get my story out and to get me to tell them everything, it takes a little bit. I don't just tell them this happened to me and this and this. It takes a while,” he said, breaking down again, briefly. He repeatedly denied ever saying he hoped to become rich as a result of the case by suing Sandusky in civil court. Jurors got a look at how his case made its way to authorities when state prosecutor Joseph McGettigan called Clinton County Child Welfare caseworker Jessica Dersham. Dersham recalled how she received a call from Central Mountain High School Principal Karen Probst in November 2008 and met with the Victim 1 shortly afterwards. She said her initial meeting with the young man led her to believe he hadn't shared his whole story. A second meeting prompted Clinton County officials to begin an investigation that would eventually land in the hands of the state attorney general's office. Testimony is expected to resume shortly after 1 p.m.
11 a.m.: Game-playing, shared meals and escalating affection from Jerry Sandusky devolved into routine sexual abuse, including requests for oral sex from the former football coach, an 18-year-old testified this morning. "He looked at me and said something along the lines of ‘It's your turn,'" the teenager said under questioning by state prosecutor Joseph McGettigan. The young man "froze" but complied, just as he had when Sandusky begun performing sexual acts on him some time earlier, he testified. He said the abuse happened repeatedly - for months - about five years ago in the basement of Sandusky's home, just outside State College in College Township. Sandusky's wife, Dottie, was upstairs during the abuse, which happened only at night, the teenager said. "My mind was telling me to move" away, he said of an alleged oral-sex incident, pausing his testimony and crying at times. "I couldn't do it; I couldn't move." Identified as "Victim 1" in a November grand-jury presentment, he testified for about 90 minutes this morning. He is the second alleged victim to testify in the Sandusky trial, which began yesterday in Centre County. The teenager said he met Sandusky through The Second Mile, a charity for disadvantaged youth that Sandusky founded in 1977 in State College. Sandusky took an interest in him when he was 11 or 12 years old, he testified. He was living in public housing in neighboring Clinton County, and his mother "kind of enjoyed the fact that I had a role model" in Sandusky, the teenager said. He said the former coach treated him to gifts and outings. Sandusky also invited him to stay for prolonged periods at his home, sometimes for days or weeks. "I was doing stuff (with Sandusky) that she (my mother) couldn't do with me," he testified. " ... I couldn't just say no." But in 2008, the teenager said, he decided to distance himself from Sandusky. He said Sandusky reacted angrily, at one point confronting him in public. Sandusky yelled about "making time for him and spending more time with him," the young man testified. He said he ran away, though Sandusky later kept trying to reach him by phone. After the sexual abuse began, he said, his grades in school suffered. He began acting out and wetting the bed, he said. Under cross-examination by Sandusky lead attorney Joseph Amendola, "Victim 1" said he did not detail the full extent of the alleged abuse in initial exchanges with government investigators. He was embarrassed and found it difficult to discuss, he said. He looked directly at Sandusky. "I don't even want to be here," he told Amendola in the courtroom. Amendola suggested Sandusky had bought clothes for the teenager so he could attend church with him and his wife. "Mr. Sandusky was trying to introduce you to church, wasn't he?" Amendola said. The young man agreed but said: "I'm not a church person." Amendola also asked if "Victim 1" ever suggested he might become rich from the Sandusky court case. The teenager said he had not. "If you find somebody (who says otherwise), then, no, it wouldn't be the truth," he said. The teenager said his mother has hired a civil attorney, but said that move was "actually to keep the press away from me." "It was really hard. They were putting things into the pickup truck I was driving," the teenager said. "They made life extremely hard for me." Yesterday's testimony came from "Victim 4." Now 28, he has said Sandusky sexually abused him more than 50 times. At one point, he testified, Dottie Sandusky walked in on a bathroom encounter with the former coach. Testimony is scheduled to continue throughout Tuesday. Trial Judge John M. Cleland has said the trial is expected to last as long as three weeks.
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