Mike McQueary, a former Penn State assistant football coach who first reported he saw coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy–initiating an investigation that led to Sandusky’s arrest and conviction–told players during a 2011 meeting that he, too was sexually abused as a boy.
ESPN The Magazine reported it located sources that said McQueary confided to a dozen Nittany Lions players that he could relate to the helplessness of the young boy he had seen with Sandusky in a campus shower a decade earlier because he was abused as a boy, according to two players who attended the meeting and four others with knowledge of it. McQueary did not tell the players who had abused him or when or how long the abuse had occurred, the sources said.
McQueary is a key prosecution witness in the upcoming conspiracy trial of three former Penn State leaders accused of covering up Sandusky’s sexual abuse crimes.
The meeting with Penn State receivers was held Nov. 9, 2011, just three days after prosecutors revealed, in a 23-page presentment, that McQueary had seen Sandusky and a young boy engaged in “anal intercourse” in the Lasch Football Building on campus on Feb. 9, 2001.
The revelation is included in a profile of McQueary published in an upcoming edition of ESPN The Magazine.
McQueary, 39, declined to comment for the magazine story, except to say that he still reveres his mentor, former coach Joe Paterno, who was fired that day in November 2011 and died in January 2012 at the age of 85.
“I love that man more than you can ever possibly say,” McQueary told The Mag. “He’s an unbelievable man. He did unbelievable things. He handled this thing in the best way he could. Was it foolproof or perfect? No. But I didn’t handle this in a foolproof or perfect way either. I am loyal to him to this day. I absolutely love him.”
It is not known whether McQueary was abused. It is only known that he told players he was a victim of abuse at a time when his decision to leave the locker room without stopping Sandusky was being criticized in State College and beyond, including by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
“It made it even more personal for him,” one of the players said.
Prosecutors are expected to call McQueary to testify this year at the criminal trials of former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, who are charged with crimes ranging from conspiracy to failure to report suspected abuse. If convicted, each would face a maximum of 39 years in prison.