The trial began Monday in former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary’s whistle-blower lawsuit against Penn State.
McQueary, who was fired from Penn State in 2012 as part of the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, alleges that Penn State smeared his name and took his job in retaliation for his role in exposing Sandusky’s child sexual assault.
Former Assistant Football Coach Michael McQueary's lawsuit against Penn State finished the first day, of a two-week long trial. pic.twitter.com/S1JsmY4rrT
— Frank Esposito (@FqEsposito) October 17, 2016
In 2001, while serving as a graduate assistant, McQueary said he witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the Nittany Lions’ locker room. He said he told coach Joe Paterno, who relayed the story up the Penn State chain of command. Nothing came of the allegation until 2010, when investigators contacted McQueary for his account of that night.
Once the Sandusky scandal became public in 2011, McQueary was placed on administrative leave. His contact was not renewed in 2012, which he alleges was Penn State’s retaliation for his role in the police investigation.
According to ESPN, McQueary’s team is arguing at trial that the school’s decision to place him on administrative leave ruined his reputation, while Penn State posits it gave him leave for his own safety. Via ESPN:
Former associate athletic director for football, Fran Ganter, testified that he advised McQueary to get out of town for the safety of his family.
The defense produced a number of lewd emails made at the time against McQueary, one of which threatened his life. “Enjoy hell,” one read. “If you have children, we pray they’re are violently raped,” said another. “I want to kill you, you f—ing piece of s—,” another read.
Penn State also claimed that any damage to McQueary’s reputation was his own fault.
“McQueary has been under fire for not stopping the alleged rape and going to Joe Paterno instead of the police. Right there, it could’ve stopped,” [Penn State attorney Nancy] Conrad told the jury, which consisted of nine women and three men. “But he walked away. McQueary failed to act like a responsible human being.”
McQueary, who said Monday he has not been able to find another job in football, is seeking $4 million in damages.