HARRISBURG, Pa. – A former assistant coach says that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in later years told him the university mishandled its response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Mike McQueary has been called as a witness in a hearing for three former Penn State officials accused in a cover-up of the scandal. He testified Monday that Paterno told him "Old Main screwed up" — a reference to Penn State's administration.
McQueary also says Paterno warned him the university would come down hard and try to scapegoat him.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yer), retired university vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley are accused of failing to tell police about a sexual abuse allegation involving Sandusky and then trying to cover it up. They say they're innocent.
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Penn State's former president and two ex-administrators are in court Monday for a hearing on charges accusing them of failing to tell police about a sexual abuse allegation involving Jerry Sandusky and then trying to cover it up.
The hearing in Harrisburg is to determine whether there's enough evidence against former president Graham Spanier, retired university vice president Gary Schultz and then-athletic director Tim Curley to be tried on charges they covered up an allegation that the retired top assistant football coach was sexually preying on boys.
The three are charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Those charges include allegations of hiding evidence from investigators and lying to a grand jury.
Former assistant football coach Mike McQueary has testified that he saw Sandusky and a boy engaged in a sex act in the locker room shower 2001 and within days reported it to coach Joe Paterno, Curley and Schultz. McQueary was seen entering the courthouse for the hearing, which could last several says.
Curley and Schultz have said McQueary never reported that the encounter was sexual in nature, while Spanier has said Curley and Schultz never told him about any sort of sex abuse of a boy. They said they had believed that Sandusky and the boy were engaged in nothing more than horseplay.
Sandusky is currently serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted last year of sexually abusing 10 boys. He has maintained his innocence.
Curley and Schultz were initially charged in November 2011, when Sandusky was arrested, and accused of perjury and failure to report.
Spanier was forced out as president at that time. A year later, he was charged with covering up a complaint about Sandusky while additional charges were filed against Curley and Schultz. Spanier remains a faculty member on administrative leave.
Paterno was fired and died in January 2012.