Chris Gardner / Getty Images file
Assistant coach Mike McQueary of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks the sidelines in State College, Pa., Sept. 12, 2009.
Former Penn State football assistant Mike McQueary on Tuesday filed a whistleblower lawsuit seeking $4 million from the university, claiming he was made a "scapegoat" for the university's failures to rein in a coach accused of sexual assault.
McQueary is the staffer who said he witnessed assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky having sex with a boy in the locker room in 2001, and reported what he saw to head football coach Joe Paterno and other university officials. Other boys were assaulted on campus before Sandusky, 68, was found guilty in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
The lawsuit says McQueary is seeking $4 million. His base salary in 2011 was $140,400 plus bonuses and benefits, making his anticipated earnings over the next 25 years at least $4 million. McQueary says he was placed on administrative leave a week after a grand jury found that university officials made false statements about what McQueary had told them. Gary Schultz, a former senior vice president at Penn State, and Tim Curley, the former athletic coordinator, are accused of lying to a grand jury about what they knew of sex abuse allegations against Sandusky. The university has been paying the legal fees of other Penn State employees in the case, but not McQueary's.
McQueary was a graduate assistant football coach from 2000 through 2003, and then an assistant football coach until 2011. He said he saw Sandusky engaging in sex with a boy who appeared to be 10 to 12 years old in the staff locker room of the Lasch Football Building. He said he reported the incident to his supervisor, Coach Paterno, the next day, and then was invited to tell the story to Schultz and Curley. He said he relied on their statements that they would take action. Schultz supervised the university police department.
Penn State Communications Director David LaTorre said Tuesday, "We won't have a comment."
McQueary also is seeking compensation for having his automobile privileges revoked, compensation for early withdrawls from his retirement account, bowl game bonuses from the 2011 season, back pay through Sandusky's trial, and his legal expenses.
The university's internal Freeh report described what happened in 2001:
"On Friday, February 9, 2001, University graduate student Michael McQueary observed Sandusky involved in sexual activity with a boy in the coach's shower room in the University's Leach Building. McQueary met with and reported the incident to Paterno on Saturday, February 10, 2001. Paterno did not immediately report what McQueary told him, explaining that he didn't want to interfere with anyone's weekend."
"Upon opening the locker room door, McQueary heard 'rhythmic slapping sounds' from the shower. McQueary looked into the shower through a mirror and saw Sandusky with a 'prepubescent' 10- or 12-year-old boy. McQueary saw Sandusky 'directly behind' the boy with his arms around the boy's waist or midsection. The boy had his hands against the wall, and the two were in 'a very sexual position.' McQueary believed Sandusky was 'sexually molesting' the boy and 'having some type of intercourse with him' although he 'did not see insertion nor was there any verbiage or protest, screaming or yelling.'"
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