After being barraged with criticism from people who said he didn’t do enough to stop an alleged child rape in the locker room of Penn State University in 2002, Mike McQueary sent an email to a friend disputing the story outlined in the grand jury report, saying he stopped the alleged attack.
In the email obtained by the Associated Press, McQueary, then a graduate assistant with the university, said he stopped the attack and then went to police, adding another storyline to the investigation of alleged sexual assault of young boys by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky that has rocked the campus for the past week and a half. Sandusky has already been charged with 40 counts related to the case.
“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,” McQueary said in the email dated Nov. 8. He added, “no one can imagine my thoughts or wants to be in my shoes for those 30-45 seconds … trust me.”
McQueary, a former player at Penn State who then grew in the ranks to become an assistant coach, was put on administrative leave last week after he received death threats from people outraged over the story reported by the grand jury.
The grand jury report—filled with gruesome details of alleged sex crimes against children—tells a different story from what McQueary now claims in the email he sent to his friend.
The scene in the Penn State locker room detailed in the report says: “As the graduate assistant (McQueary) put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.”
McQueary then “went to his office and called his father, reporting to him what he had seen. His father told the graduate assistant to leave the building and come to his home.”
Both McQueary and his father decided the next course of action was to “promptly report” what he had seen to head coach Joe Paterno, according to the grand jury report. The legendary coach, who was fired amid the child rape allegations that have enveloped the campus, then notified athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz.
Both have been charged with failing to notify authorities after they were told of the assault. Curley and Schultz, have stepped down, and the president of the university, Graham B. Spanier, was fired the same day as Paterno.
McQueary said in the email that he felt like he was “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.”
McQueary’s side of the story came just a day after the alleged child rapist, Jerry Sandusky, went on national television to proclaim his innocence, while also admitting to showering with kids.
“In retrospect I shouldn’t have showered with those kids,” Sandusky told Bob Costas during NBC’s news magazine show “Rock Center.”
“I say that I am innocent of those charges,” said Sandusky, who is charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. “I could say that I have done some of those things: I have horsed around with kids, I have showered after workouts, I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact.”
When he was asked why someone would lie to the grand jury about what happened in the locker room in 2002, Sandusky said, “You’d have to ask him that.”