Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary said today that he did not actually witness former coach Jerry Sandusky penetrating a young boy in the shower, but saw activity he believed was sexual and told as much to head coach Joe Paterno.
"I never used the word sodomy or anal sex out of respect for Joe Paterno," McQueary said on the witness stand in a hearing today, relating what he reported to the head coach. "I would not have done it [said it that way]."
McQueary was the first of five witnesses that will testify today in a hearing before District Judge William C. Wenner to determine what Penn State officials knew about Sandusky's alleged child sexual abuse on the Penn State campus.
In today's hearing, McQueary said he did not actually see rape in the 2002 shower incident, but something he believed was sexual in nature.
"I thought that Jerry was molesting him, having intercourse with him. I didn't see insertion or hear protest," McQueary said. "Jerry having some type of intercourse with him, that's what I believe I saw."
"The boy was up against the wall, his hands up, Jerry behind him in a close position, with his hands wrapped around the boy. I thought to myself this is a sexual position," he testified.
McQueary's testimony of the incident is a vital part of the cases against Sandusky, who is accused of 50 counts of molesting children, and two top university officials that are accused of lying to a grand jury about what they knew of the alleged incident.
The hearing today will determine whether former athletic director Tim Curly and former vice president of finance Gary Shultz were told about an alleged sexual assault on campus and did not report it to police. In the grand jury presentment charging them with perjury, McQueary testified that he told Paterno that he witnessed a rape of a young boy.
Paterno, however, testified that he was only told that something of a "inappropriate nature" had occurred in the shower, and Curly and Shultz testified that they were only told the behavior was horsing around.
In the weeks since the grand jury presentment was released, McQueary has come under fire for changing the story of what he saw. A doctor who says he was at the McQueary household when McQueary told his father what he saw claims that McQueary denied there was any sexual activity in the shower incident, contradicting the grand jury report. McQueary also contradicted the report, telling friends through emails that he actively stopped the rape and then told police what he saw.
In his testimony today, McQueary recounted the incident once more.
"Jerry was having some type of intercourse with him, that's what I believe I saw," he said. "I stepped back and didn't want to see it anymore. I slammed the locker shut, and when I looked in, they had separated. I know they saw me, they both looked directly into my eyes, and neither said anything to me."
"Seeing that they both saw me, I left the locker room. I can't describe what I was thinking or feeling: shocked, horrified, distraught."
Four other witnesses are set to testify at the hearing, though their identities have not been released. Former head coach Joe Paterno's testimony will be read aloud. He will not testify in court.