Today, the preliminary hearing for Jerry Sandusky will be held in Bellefonte, PA. Sandusky is being charged with more than 50 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 boys he met through the Second Mile, a childrens charity that he founded. Every time I read, hear or type that sentence, it still seems unbelievable that a human can be that sick. It’s unclear how long the hearing will last, but apparently the judge and packed courtroom are scheduled to hear testimony from ten accusers and the lone eyewitness, Mike McQueary. I’m confident that justice will be served as far as this sick man and what he did to those children. What I’m not as confident about is the eyewitness.
Mike McQueary’s part in the grand jury report released last month, in some cases indirectly, led to the dismissals of himself, Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, Gary Shulz and Joe Paterno. Oddly enough, in the 23 page summary, there was not a single quote from McQueary. Instead, we were privy to just a summary of his story. Not his exact recollection of the event. Not exactly what was said to Paterno the next day. Not any details from the next decade. Just enough to indict Curley and Shulz. Unfortunately, that summary painted some who were not being indicted, namely Joe Paterno, in a damning light. Media and fans across the country began calling for Paterno’s head almost immediately. There were always several gray areas and holes in the story, but it’s hard to reason with the fury that child molesting brings on.
Since then, the eyewitness account has become even more vague. He apparently emailed former teammates saying “You guys know me. I wouldn’t just leave. I stopped it.” Could be. Wasn’t in the grand jury report, but that info wouldn’t have been because it wasn’t relative to the indictments. Then there was the fact that McQueary did NOT tell Paterno that he saw rape. That’s explainable, I suppose. It could certainly be awkward to explain THAT to a 75 year old man about one of his colleagues. But do you clean it up? Don’t you want to make sure everyone is aware of the severity involved? Most recently was the report I wrote about involving the family friend, Dr. Jonathan Dranov. Dranov stated that McQueary told him he did not see any sexual act, and repeated that statement three times.
These conflicting stories will undoubtedly be attacked by the defense today. They could be the reason that Curley and Shulz get their charges dropped. So much inside that courtroom will hinge on Mike McQueary and what he says.
But what about outside of the courtroom? What about Joe Paterno? Does his reputation also hinge on McQueary’s testimony, or is it too late for him? Time will tell, but it would be a shame for a legacy to be ruined indefinitely amongst so much uncertainty.
Follow me @PSUTimm for updates from the hearing today!