For months Mike McQueary has remained silent about what exactly he witnessed in the Penn State locker room showers back in the spring of 2002. Today he finally broke that silence in a pretrial hearing involving the perjury charges levied against former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice-president Gary Schultz. McQueary’s story was graphic and detailed. In particular, McQueary made it clear that he’d told Joe Paterno exactly what he’d witnessed and that he’d also conveyed what he’d seen to Paterno’s superiors.
Here is Mike McQueary’s 130 minute testimony today. For purposes of this story I have relied primarily on the in-court Twitter feed of Nate Bauer of Blue and White Illustrated.
On that day McQueary said he opened the locker room door and heard “rhythmic slapping sounds. Two or three slaps that you would hear skin on skin.” McQueary said that he initially witnessed Jerry Sandusky and the young boy in a mirror reflection. “It appeared that Jerry was directly behind the boy and the boy had his hands up against the wall,” McQueary testified.
McQueary stated that he couldn’t be 100% sure that there was intercourse, but that’s what he believes was occurring. “I did not see insertion, nor was there any verbiage, screaming or yelling.”
At this point McQueary said he slammed the locker room door and approached the shower for a closer look. By this time Sandusky and the boy had separated. “They had both turned,” McQueary testified, “so their bodies were totally facing me and looking at me. They were four or five feet apart.”
McQueary said nothing to either Sandusky or the boy, but “I know they saw me, they looked directly in my eye, both of them,” he said. Asked on cross-examination if Sandusky had an erection, McQueary replied, “I don’t know. I don’t look and stare down there.” Asked whether he could tell how tall the boy was, if he had pubic hair, or even what color the boy’s hair was, McQueary said that he couldn’t be certain.
McQueary left the locker room feeling “shocked, distraught and probably not thinking straight.” He said he was not in the locker room for longer than 45 seconds or one minute.
Once outside the locker room he called his dad and told him what he’d just witnessed. “I just saw Coach Sandusky in the showers with a boy. What I saw was wrong and sexual and I need some advice quickly,” McQueary relayed.
On cross-examination, McQueary acknowledged he’d considered calling the police but decided against it. Asked why he’d never gone to the police, McQueary replied: “It was delicate in nature in my opinion and I tried to use my best judgement.”
After a long conversation with his father that same night, the decision was made to inform Coach Joe Paterno of what McQueary had seen. McQueary went home that night to his townhouse, slept, and phoned Paterno first thing in the morning.
On the phone McQueary said, “Coach, I need to come to your house and talk to you,” McQueary testified.