- McQueary Testifies re Penn State Shower Incident; Caseworker Says Sandusky Admitted ‘Raspberries’
Trials & Litigation
McQueary Testifies re Penn State Shower Incident; Caseworker Says Sandusky Admitted ‘Raspberries’
Posted Jun 12, 2012 3:54 PM CST
By Martha Neil
As testimony continued Tuesday in the child sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky, witnesses for the prosecution offered details intended to bolster the accounts of young men who said they were victimized by the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach.
A former junior colleague of Sandusky's, onetime assistant coach Mike McQueary, told jurors in the Bellefonte, Pa., trial that he was stunned one evening in 2001 when he walked into a staff locker room at Penn State to hear a ''skin-on-skin smacking sound.'' At first looking into a mirror that faced the showers and then looking directly into the showers, he saw a prepubescent boy with his hands against the wall and Sandusky, standing behind the youth, with his arms around his waist in "the closest proximity that I think you can be in," the Associated Press reports.
Slamming his locker door to get their attention, he then stepped into the doorway of the shower room and saw the two had separated and were facing him. Shocked, he went upstairs and called his father for advice, giving him a vague account because he was embarrassed, McQueary said. He went to coach Joe Paterno's home the next morning to tell him about the incident, again avoiding explicit details, and a week or so later met with two Penn State administrators.
Cross-examined in the afternoon by Sandusky's defense lawyer, McQueary grew impatient as Karl Rominger asked for more details about what he saw and questioned his perception of how old the boy was, the Patriot-News reports.
"If we want to argue about 9, 10, 11 or 12, the fact is, he had sex with a minor," McQueary said. "A boy.
"I think 8 to 13, 10 to 12 and 10, I'm not a math major or anything, but I think that's the same age."
As Rominger sought to show how McQueary's account of the shower incident had changed over time, the witness accused the lawyer of "playing semantics," ABC News reported in a lengthy article about today's testimony.
Courtroom observers laughed as McQueary, whose bright orange hair stands out in a crowd, responded to the lawyer's question about whether Sandusky saw him during the shower incident. "I'm ... a big red-haired guy, most people see me wherever I go," he said.
Earlier, a Children and Youth Services caseworker who in 2008 looked into a witness' claims to have been victimized by Sandusky over the years told the jury that she had questioned the assistant coach and he denied sexual contact. However, she said Sandusky did admit lying on top of the youth and blowing "raspberries" on his belly, according to ABC and the AP.
Defense lawyers are questioning whether the claimed victims, a number of whom reportedly are represented by private attorneys, have a financial motive to lie in the hope of winning a civil judgment.
A previous ABAJournal.com post details earlier coverage about the case: