Months after being accused of taking part in a “Conspiracy of Silence,” three former top Penn State administrators appeared in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.
Former president Graham Spanier as well as athletic director Tim Curley and senior VP Gary Schultz are accused of perjury, endangering the welfare of children and other crimes for allegedly trying to coverup Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse crimes.
The first witness Monday was Mike McQueary, who recounted conversations with former football coach Joe Paterno. McQueary described telling Paterno about the so-called shower incident in February 2001.
“I told (Paterno) I went to the locker room…and that I had seen Coach Sandusky…engaging in a molestation act with a minor,” McQueary testified. He added he told Paterno the minor appeared to be a 10 to 12-year-old boy.
McQueary said Paterno appeared “saddened.”
“There was absolutely no doubt….He knew it was a boy. He knew it was not a man,” said McQueary.
Several days after his talk with Paterno, McQueary said he got a call from Curley and made plans to meet.
During a meeting with Schultz and Curley, McQueary said the men took no notes and didn’t ask him questions.
McQueary said he described the “rough positioning” of what he saw and “that it was a boy.” McQueary said the men told him they’d look into the matter.
Years later, as information about Sandusky was becoming public, McQueary recalled a conversation he hadn’t yet spoken about in public.
He recalled Paterno telling him,”Don’t trust Cynthia Baldwin. Don’t trust Old Main…Get your lawyers…the university is going to come down hard.” McQueary said Paterno went on to add, “Old Main screwed up.”
Baldwin was the university’s legal counsel.
The judge also heard testimony from the former director of police, Thomas Harmon, who talked about investigating an allegation against Sandusky in 1998. The district attorney later determined no crime had occurred.
Harmon said the PSU administrators did not tell him about the 2001 allegation by Mike McQueary.
“In light of the 1998 incident, that would have been sufficiently suspicious,” said Harmon.
Prosecutors also called to the stand two of Gary Schultz’s former employees.
A judge granted immunity to Kim Belcher, one of the assistants. She said she took a file from Schultz’s office labeled “Sandusky,” which he’d asked people never to look at. She said she took the file to Schultz’s home, even though he’d never asked her to do that. Prosecutors had issued a subpoena for that file. She said she thought she was helping.
The hearing continues Tuesday at 9 a.m. in Dauphin County court.