Harrisburg, Pa. As soon as he walked into the Penn State locker room, Mike McQueary heard running water and rhythmic, slapping sounds of “skin on skin.” He looked in a mirror and saw a naked Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach, holding a young boy by the waist from behind, up against the wall in the campus shower.
“I just saw Coach Sandusky in the showers with a boy and what I saw was wrong and sexual,” McQueary recalled telling his father that night in 2002. He repeated it the next morning to coach Joe Paterno, who slumped deep into his chair at his kitchen table.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry you had to see that,’” McQueary said.
McQueary’s testimony Friday at a preliminary hearing for two Penn State officials accused of covering up the story was the most detailed, public account yet of the child sex abuse allegations that have upended the university’s football program and the entire central Pennsylvania campus.
Paterno and the university president have lost their jobs, and officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are accused of lying to a grand jury about what McQueary told them.
A Pennsylvania judge on Friday held Curley, the university’s athletic director, and Schultz, a retired senior vice president, for trial after the daylong hearing.
Curley said that McQueary never relayed the seriousness of what he saw, and said he was only told that Sandusky was “horsing around” with a boy but that his conduct wasn’t sexual.
He said he told the university president about the episode and the top official at a children’s charity that Sandusky founded, but never told university police. “I didn’t see any reason because I didn’t think at the time it was a crime,” he told the grand jury, according to testimony read into the record on Friday.