BELLEFONTE — Jerry Sandusky’s attorney is insisting that the shower incident that Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary testified he witnessed in 2002 actually happened in 2001, a discrepancy he said undermines McQueary’s credibility.
Joe Amendola said Sandusky vividly recalls the incident, although he said it did not involve sexual activity.
“Jerry is adamant that the time frame involved was really 2001, and probably, probably in February of 2001,” Amendola said. “We didn’t want to talk about that before the preliminary hearings for (Tim) Curley and for (Gary) Schultz because we wanted to make sure that Mike McQueary was pinned down as to what he was saying as to the time involved in this.”
He said the time frame has been corroborated by other people at Penn State, who he declined to identify.
Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan said Thursday the issue of the time of the alleged assault was addressed by McQueary’s testimony at the preliminary hearing.
McQueary maintained in that testimony that the incident he witnessed occurred in March 2002. McGettigan did not comment further.
Penn State Athletic Director Curley and Schultz, retired senior vice president, are charged with perjury and failure to report abuse after an investigating grand jury concluded they lied about their knowledge of that incident. They say they’re innocent of the charges.
McQueary last month testified at their preliminary hearing that he saw Sand usky naked in a shower with a young boy in the
Lasch Building campus. on McQueary said he didn’t see sex occurring but thought that’s what it looked like given the close proximity and positioning of Sandusky’s and the boy’s bodies.
John McQueary, Mike McQueary’s father, also testified that his son told him what he’d seen. John Mc- Queary, reached Thursday, declined to comment on the time frame.
But Sandusky recalls it well, his attorney said.
“He says he can recall it vividly because it was one of the rare times he was in there at night,” Amendola said. “And most importantly, he said he had just interviewed for the Virginia head coaching job.”
Amendola said Sandusky said he interviewed for the football job at the University of Virginia in January 2001.
Centre Daily Times archives show that Sandusky interviewed for the job on Dec. 20, 2000.
It was not long after, Amendola said, that Sandusky remembers being in the shower with a boy after a workout. The boy was “surfing” around in the showers while the shower-heads were running, Amendola said.
McQueary testified that he went to the Lasch Building on a Friday evening around 9 or 9:30 in March 2002, and heard what he thought were sounds associated with sex coming from a locker room shower. McQueary said he looked into the shower once through a mirror and saw Sandusky with a boy.
“And it appeared that Jerry was directly behind the boy and the boy was up against the wall with hands up against the wall,” McQueary said during his testimony.
McQueary testified he looked directly into the shower two more times: “And it appeared upon looking the second time, I said to myself, they’re in a very sexual-oriented — a very sexual position,” he said.
He said he did not see sexual penetration, but when asked what he thought they were doing, he said “I believed Jerry was sexually molesting him and having some type of intercourse with him.”
Sandusky maintains he is innocent of charges that he sexually abused 10 boys from 1994 to 2008. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges last month and remains free on bail, but confined to his College Township home.
Amendola and Senior Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo said Thursday they’re not involved in any plea negotiations.
Amendola also said Thursday:
That Sandusky is close to hiring an out-of-the-area attorney to represent him in any civil cases. Amendola said he only handles criminal matters.
That no decisions have been made about whether Sandusky will do another national TV interview. Amendola defended allowing national media outlets to interview Sandusky in November and December, saying it was a way to allow Sandusky to publicly defend himself against the charges.
He said Sandusky was not paid for the interviews, and added that the Sandusky family finances are being strained.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616.