Former Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary testified Tuesday afternoon that he saw Jerry Sandusky naked in the Lasch Football Building shower with a boy who was also naked and standing extremely close together.
He saw them through a mirror and in plain sight, a total of three times.
McQueary said the two were standing “very, very – in the closest proximity that you could be.”
“Both saw me. I saw the fronts of their bodies. We looked directly into each other’s eyes,” McQueary said.
Then a graduate student, McQueary had gone to the football building with the intent to get some work done. He was in high spirits after watching the film “Rudy,” he said.
Earlier that day, on Feb. 9, 2001, McQueary had bought a new pair of sneakers, which he decided to stow in his locker that night.
“There are two doors to that locker room immediately upon opening that door. I heard showers running, smacking sounds,” McQueary said. “Very much skin-on-skin smacking sounds.”
Initially, McQueary said he was embarrassed because he thought he was walking in on an intimate moment between two adults. Not wanting to interrupt, he proceeded to his locker.
“In that room my locker was immediately to the right of that second door. I turn to my locker, I glance over my right shoulder into the mirror,” he said. “I was not looking into the shower with my own eyes.
“I see coach Sandusky with a boy and he is right up against his back with his front. The boy’s hands are up against the wall,” McQueary said.
“I immediately turn back to my locker, trying to digest what I just saw. I stepped two or three feet to my right … I didn’t want to trust the mirror."
McQueary saw exactly what he saw before, he said. Sandusky’s arms were wrapped around the boy’s midsection and Sandusky’s midsection was moving. There was no hard or fast movement.
McQueary said he put his shoes in his locker and slammed the door shut with all his might, in hopes of indicating that someone else was in the locker room. He said his head was spinning and he had a hard time dealing with what was going on.
“You don’t expect to see anything like that, ever,” he said. “This is the Penn State football building … No, you don’t register that.
“I wasn’t thinking. I’m used to pressure situations and I think that’s more than my brain could handle.”
McQueary called his father right away, who told him to come over to his house immediately so his son could better explain what he saw.
McQueary didn’t go into “gross detail,” he said – not with his father, and not with Joe Paterno.
McQueary told his father, “Dad, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on.”
The next day, a Saturday, McQueary called the Paterno home around 7:15 a.m. The coach thought he was gunning for a job – positions were open at the time – but McQueary said he explained to the coach it was about something very important.
“I told him what I had seen – again, on the surface. I made sure that he knew it was sexual and it was wrong,” McQueary said. “I did not do anything after that conversation. I waited for something to happen.”
Per the Grand Jury report, McQueary met with then athletic director Tim Curley and then vice president Gary Schultz, who was also head of Penn State Police. McQueary said Schultz’s position was the reason he never contacted a uniformed officer regarding what he saw in the Lasch Building shower.
“In my mind, Shultz represented the police, without a doubt,” McQueary said.
Photos of the Lasch Football Building locker room were shown to McQueary so that he could verify the location of his locker and its proximity to the shower. Mannequins in the form of an adult male and a male child were standing in the shower in one of the photos.
Another photo depicted the location of what McQueary could see in the mirror’s reflection. McQueary is in two of the photos.
After the incident, McQueary said he avoided any contact with Sandusky, with whom he never spoke about what he saw.
“If Jerry would come in the equipment room I would get up and leave real fast,” McQueary said. “I saw something and didn’t want to be around him.”
During cross-examination, McQueary said it was out of respect for his father, Paterno and the other men his seniors that he did not divulge any details that he considered too perverse, vulgar or overly sexual.
Counsel for the defense Karl Rominger questioned whether he was sure Sandusky and the boy saw him the night he heard showers running late in the locker room.
“I’m sure they saw me,” McQueary said. “I don’t know how they didn’t. I get seen a lot of places.”
When McQueary was asked about his statement, “I didn’t just leave, I made sure it stopped,” he said that the slamming of his locker was to what he was alluding.
After he slammed the locker, McQueary said Sandusky and the boy had separated.