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Two Penn State officials can stand trial in sexual abuse case

December 16, 2011 |  1:26 pm

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Two Penn State officials can be tried on charges of lying to a grand jury in the university's child sexual-abuse scandal, a judge ruled Friday.

Prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward with the cases against Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, District Judge William C. Wenner concluded after hearing testimony in a Pennsylvania courtroom.

The two men's lawyers maintain they are innocent, and contest assistant football coach Mike McQueary's grand jury testimony that he told Curley and Schultz that he saw Sandusky molest a boy in a locker room shower in 2002, the Morning Call reported.

Curley and Schultz are charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to properly report what McQueary told them.

On Friday, McQueary spoke up for the first time about what he saw.

McQueary testified that he saw Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the shower room, but did not alert police. Instead, he said, he called his father to discuss what to do. His father told him to contact then-football coach Joe Paterno.

Among the questions now: Will his graphic testimony make a difference in the court of public opinion for McQueary? McQueary has been blasted by critics who said he had not done enough. Friday he said in court that he did everything he could.

McQueary is shaping up to be a crucial witness in the child sexual-abuse case against Sandusky and other Penn State officials.

Sandusky has been accused of more than 50 counts of sexual assaults over 12 years involving 10 boys in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere. He has said he is innocent. Paterno was fired in the wake of the scandal. 

McQueary is not accused of any wrongdoing. But he nonetheless faced death threats in the wake of his grand jury testimony.

When McQueary had his first opportunity to explain his actions in a courtroom, he said he did everything his could to alert authorities to the disturbing scene he said he witnessed.

PHOTOS: The Penn State child abuse sex scandal

He testified that he was in the locker room in March 2002 to pick up some recruiting tapes when he heard someone in the shower.

That's when he saw a naked Sandusky, standing behind the boy with his arms wrapped around the boy's waist, according to media dispatches from the Pennsylvania courtroom. McQueary said he assumed that anal intercourse was taking place, although he added that "I did not see insertion nor was there any protest, screaming or yelling,” according to Reuters.

Still in shock, McQueary said he called his father to discuss what to do. His father told him to contact then-football coach Paterno. He said he did not give Paterno explicit details, but told him what he'd witnessed. Paterno told him he'd "done the right thing" by coming to him, and that he would take care of it, McQueary said.

About nine or 10 days later, McQueary said he met with Curley and Schultz and told them what he'd seen. "I told them that I saw Jerry in the showers with a young boy and that what I had seen was extremely sexual and over the lines and it was wrong," McQueary testified, according to the Associated Press. "I would have described that it was extremely sexual and I thought that some kind of intercourse was going on."

McQueary said he believed he was alerting "the authorities" to what he'd seen. Asked specifically why he did not call police, McQueary noted that Shultz was a university vice president at the time, and had jurisdiction over campus police.

"I thought I was talking to the head of the police, to be frank with you," he said, according to the Associated Press. "It was someone who police reported to and would know what to do with it."

McQueary has been placed on administrative leave, although authorities have not said publicly why that action was taken.

ALSO:

Full coverage: Penn State child sexual-abuse scandal

Mike McQueary testimony: 'I stepped back. I didn't want to see'

Seriously? Jerry Sandusky named among 'intriguing' people of 2011

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Mike McQueary departs the Dauphin County courthouse Friday in Harrisburg, Pa. Credit: Associated Press

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