Sandusky witness McQueary files defamation suit against Penn State

Former Penn State assistant Mike McQuery

A former Penn State graduate assistant who reported that he saw former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a young boy in the locker room in 2001 and testified at Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial sued the university Tuesday for defamation and misrepresentation. Mike McQueary’slawsuit, which is seeking millions of dollars in damages, says that his treatment by Penn State since Sandusky was arrested last November has caused him distress, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment. The lawsuit says that soon after Sandusky was charged, then-president Graham Spanier met with athletic department staff and expressed his support for athletic director Tim Curley and vice presidentGary Schultz, who’d been charged with perjury and failure to properly report suspected child abuse in the Sandusky case. Spanier also issued a public statement saying the same thing. McQueary charges that Spanier’s support of the two men — who are still awaiting trial — was designed to preserve Penn State’s reputation and make McQueary a scapegoat. After seeing the shower incident in 2001, McQueary reported it to then-head football coach Joe Paterno, who in turn told Curley and Schultz. McQueary, whose contract was not renewed for this year, claims that the November meeting with Spanier suggested that McQueary was lying when he said he’d reported what he’d seen. The suit says, “Spanier’s statements have irreparably harmed [McQueary’s] reputation for honesty and integrity, and have irreparably harmed [his] ability to earn a living, especially in his chosen profession of coaching football.” McQueary claims his contract wasn’t renewed because he cooperated with investigators, testified at the preliminary hearing for Curley and Schultz and is expected to be a prime witness against them at trial.