Bradley C Bower, Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — As soon as he walked into the Penn State locker room, Mike McQueary heard running water and rhythmic, slapping sounds of "skin on skin." He looked in a mirror and saw a naked Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach, holding a young boy by the waist from behind, up against the wall in the campus shower.
"I just saw Coach Sandusky in the showers with a boy and what I saw was wrong and sexual," McQueary recalled telling his father that night in 2002. He repeated it the next morning to coach Joe Paterno, who slumped deep into his chair at his kitchen table.
"He said, 'I'm sorry you had to see that,'" McQueary said.
McQueary's testimony Friday at a preliminary hearing for two Penn State officials accused of covering up the story was the most detailed, public account yet of the child sex abuse allegations that have upended the university's football program and the entire central Pennsylvania campus. Paterno and the university president have lost their jobs, and officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are accused of lying to a grand jury about what McQueary told them.
A Pennsylvania judge on Friday held Curley, the university's athletic director, and Schultz, a retired senior vice president, for trial after the daylong hearing.
Curley said that McQueary never relayed the seriousness of what he saw, and said he was only told that Sandusky was "horsing around" with a boy but that his conduct wasn't sexual.
He said he told the university president about the episode and the top official at a children's charity that Sandusky founded, but never told university police. "I didn't see any reason because I didn't think at the time it was a crime," he told the grand jury, according to testimony read into the record on Friday.
Curley, Schultz and Paterno have been criticized for never telling police about the 2002 charges. Prosecutors say Sandusky continued to abuse boys for six more years. Sandusky has denied having inappropriate sexual contact with boys.
In about two hours on the witness stand, McQueary said again and again that what he saw was a sexual act, although he stopped short of saying he was sure that Sandusky, now 67, had raped the boy.
"I believe Jerry was sexually molesting him and having some type of sexual intercourse with him," McQueary said on Friday. He said later he "can't say 100 percent" that Sandusky and the boy were having intercourse because he was seeing Sandusky from behind.
He said after talking to his father, he went over to Paterno's home the next morning and said that what he had seen "was way over the lines, it was extremely sexual in nature." He said he would not have used words like sodomy or intercourse with Paterno; he did not get into that much detail out of respect for the coach, he said.
Paterno told the grand jury that McQueary said he saw Sandusky doing something of a "sexual nature" with the youngster but that he didn't press for details.
"I didn't push Mike ... because he was very upset," Paterno said. "I knew Mike was upset, and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster."
Paterno told McQueary he would talk to others about what he'd reported.
McQueary said he met nine or 10 days later with Curley and Schultz and told them he'd seen Sandusky and a boy, both naked, in the shower after hearing skin-on-skin slapping sounds.
"I would have described that it was extremely sexual and I thought that some kind of intercourse was going on," said McQueary.
McQueary said he was left with the impression both men took his report seriously. When asked why he didn't go to police, he referenced Schultz's position as a vice president at the university who had overseen the campus police
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