Witness: Coach said Penn St. erred on sex scandal
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — The assistant coach who blew the whistle on the Penn State American football program’s child sex abuse scandal testified Monday that the school’s beloved head coach had told him that the school’s administrators “screwed up” in handling the case that rocked America’s sports fans.
Jerry Sandusky, another assistant coach, was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of years — a scandal that destroyed the once unimpeachable reputation of Hall of Fame college football head coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted last year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Former assistant coach Mike McQueary, was called as a witness Monday in a hearing for three former Penn State officials accused in a cover-up of the scandal. He told the judge that Paterno had told him over the years that “Old Main screwed up” — referring to university administrators — responding to the allegations against Sandusky.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, retired university vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley are accused of failing to tell police about a sexual abuse allegation involving Sandusky and then trying to cover it up. They have proclaimed their innocence.
A Penn State spokesman said Monday the university would not comment on the legal proceedings. The Associated Press left a message for a Paterno family spokesman.
The judge must determine whether there’s enough evidence against the ex-officials to send the case to trial. The three are charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Those charges include allegations of hiding evidence from investigators and lying to a grand jury.
McQueary has testified that he saw Sandusky and a boy engaged in a sex act in the locker room shower 2001 and within days reported it to Paterno, Curley and Schultz.
Paterno died in January 2012. His family has vehemently denied accusations that he covered up allegations against Sandusky, the once highly-regarded defensive coordinator.