The Jerry Sandusky case has cost Penn State a lot of money. $7.3 million to Sandusky “whistleblower” Mike McQueary because he lost his job – but that wasn’t enough for the judge, who tacked on an additional $4.97 million reward in December. And $2.4 million was levied against Penn State for failing to act on McQueary’s abuse report.
These enormous sums, awarded in the past month, pile onto the $20 million Penn State has paid for legal fees and internal investigations (just over the past two years) and $29.9 million the university’s insurance companies have paid for scandal-related costs, plus the $93 million Penn State has doled out to 33 alleged Sandusky victims.
Among them was Allan Myers, who testified for the first time at a hearing on November 4, 2016. He was the infamous “boy in the shower,” the linchpin of the case, and the source of the latest two fines.
In a previous article in The Crime Report, I explained why I believe former Penn State defensive football coordinator Jerry Sandusky may be innocent, as he maintains. But now nearly $10 million more has flowed, all stemming from allegations regarding that shower.
Here is the real story—based on my recent reporting.
One Friday night in February 2001, Mike McQueary, 26, came to Lasch Hall at Penn State to retrieve tapes of possible football recruits. On the way, he figured he might as well put his new shoes away in the locker room. He had been a Penn State quarterback as an undergraduate and was halfway through his post-graduate education, while working as an assistant football coach.
Before he opened the door to the locker room, McQueary heard slapping sounds. [editor’s note: This link to the trial transcript asks if it is “trustworthy.” Answer “OK.” McQueary testimony pages 186-299] He thought the slaps sounded sexual. By the time he got to his locker at the near end of the wall, the noise had quieted down.
Curious, he looked obliquely into the shower room through a mirror across the room and caught a glimpse of a boy in the shower. Then an arm reached out and pulled the boy back.
‘Sounds of Sexual Abuse’?
Horrified, he assumed that he had just overheard the sounds of child sexual abuse. After closing his locker, he saw Jerry Sandusky walk out of the shower.
McQueary quickly left the building and called his father, John McQueary, and told him his suspicions. His father advised him to come right over to talk about it. Then John McQueary called his employer and friend, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a nephrologist, asking him to come over and help them sort out Mike’s disturbing experience.
Dranov employed the diagnostic and interviewing skills that he used with patients to get a clear description of the scene that had so upset his friend’s son. Dranov was unable to get McQueary to put into words anything sexual he had seen, in spite of asking several times, “But what did you see?”
McQueary explained that he had seen a boy in the shower, and that an arm had then reached out to pull him back. Dranov asked if the boy had looked scared or upset. No. Did Mike actually see any sexual act? No. McQueary kept returning to the “sexual” sounds.
To the older men, slapping sounds did not necessarily imply that sexual activity was taking place. [Editor’s Note: see pages 9-16]
Acting on the advice of his father and Dr. Dranov, Mike McQueary took his concerns to legendary head coach Joe Paterno at his home the next day. This was the only initiative McQueary ever took connected with the shower incident.
Paterno subsequently told his immediate supervisor, athletic director Tim Curley, about it, who told Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and university president Graham Spanier. Curley and Schultz met with McQueary to hear what he had seen and heard. They also spoke to Sandusky, getting his version of that shower, though they didn’t tell him who had reported the incident.
From those conversations, they concluded that Sandusky has been “horsing around” with a kid and that, while it was not sexual abuse, it could be misinterpreted. So they told Sandusky, who had retired from Penn State, that as a result of someone (they didn’t name McQueary) complaining about the shower incident, he should stop working out on campus with Second Mile kids (Second Mile was the program Sandusky had started for troubled young).
They left it at that. [editor note: see p. 70-74]
McQueary remained at least overtly friendly with Jerry Sandusky over the following years. He signed up for the Sandusky Celebrity Golf Event in the fall of 2001, just four months after the shower incident, then took part in other Sandusky charity-related events, such as flag football fund-raisers coached by Sandusky in March 2002 and April 2004 and another golf event in 2003.
By the time the police questioned McQueary about the shower incident in late 2010, he couldn’t remember exactly when it occurred, and he said that it happened during spring break of 2002, more than a year after the actual date. McQueary’s story and memory changed several times after the police told him that they knew Sandusky was an evil pedophile.
He eventually “remembered” seeing Sandusky and the boy in the shower, with Sandusky moving his hips slowly against the boy up against a wall, which he included in his testimony.
In short, Mike McQueary did not witness Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the shower. He overheard slapping sounds and interpreted them as being sexual, and years later his memory morphed.
We know a great deal more about this incident because we know the identity of that boy, a Second Miler named Allan Myers, who was nearly 14 years old at the time (not ten), and who remained friends with Sandusky until after the allegations created a public furor in November 2011.
“He [Allan] turned on every shower [and] he was like wild, he put soap on himself and was sliding, he was seeing how far he could slide. I remember that. Then we may have been like slapping towels, slap boxing, doing something like that.”
He laughed, remembering, in a taped interview in prison conducted by John Ziegler, that “he [Allan] always, no matter what, he’d always get the last lick in.” [editor’s note: see page 37]
Recalling his relationship with Allan Myers, Sandusky said, “He was like family. We did all kinds of things together. We studied. We tutored. We worked out. He went to California with my wife and me twice. He spoke for the Second Mile numerous times.”
This all took place after the 2001 shower incident.
A Guest at Myers’ Wedding
“He had me stand as his father at his senior night football game,” Sandusky recalled. “He asked me to speak at his high school graduation, and I did. He stayed with us the summer after his high school graduation, worked part-time jobs with classes. He would go home on weekends. We went to his wedding.”
Indeed, Myers, a Marine who had recently received an honorable discharge at the time the allegations broke, came forward to defend Sandusky, telling Sandusky’s lawyer and investigator what had actually happened. Myers, born in the mid-1980s, had endured his parents’ volatile marriage, in which he witnessed his father threatening his mother with a gun. His guidance counselor suggested Myers for the Second Mile program, which he attended as a fourth and fifth grader, getting to know Jerry Sandusky the second year.
Myers said that Sandusky was a “father figure” associated with “many positive events” in his life. On “Senior Night” at a West Branch High School football game, Myers asked Sandusky to walk out onto the field with his mother, as the loudspeaker announced, “Father, Jerry Sandusky,” along with his mother’s name.
About the McQueary shower incident, Myers said, “This particular night is very clear in my mind.” In the shower after a workout, he and Sandusky “were slapping towels at each other, trying to sting each other. I would slap the walls and would slide on the shower floor, which I am sure you could have heard from the wooden locker area.”
Myers said that he recalled hearing a locker slam but he never saw who closed it. Although McQueary would later claim that both Sandusky and Myers saw him, neither of them had any idea he was there that night.
Myers repeatedly and emphatically denied that Jerry Sandusky had ever sexually abused him.
“Never, ever, did anything like that occur,” he told Curtis Everhart, an investigator for Sandusky’s defense lawyer, on November 9, 2011.
Yes, Sandusky had put his hand on his left knee while he was driving, but that didn’t bother him.
‘Jerry Never Violated Me’
“I often would stay at Jerry’s home overnight,” he said. “Jerry never violated me while I was at his home or anywhere else. On many occasions there were numerous people at his home. I felt very safe and at ease at his home, whether alone with Jerry or with others present.”
The only thing that made Myers feel uncomfortable and violated was his September 2011 interview with Pennsylvania State Police officers.
“They would try to put words in my mouth, take my statement out of context. The PSP investigators were clearly angry and upset when I would not say what they wanted to hear. My final words to the PSP were, ‘I will never have anything bad to say about Jerry.’”
But like so many Second Milers, Myers subsequently found a lawyer, Andrew Shubin, and joined the throng of those seeking millions of dollars in compensation for alleged abuse.
He did not testify at the trial, however. Both prosecution and defense lawyers knew that Allan Myers was the boy in the 2001McQueary shower incident (though the prosecutor now claims not to believe he was the one), but for their own strategic reasons, neither chose to identify him, so that the jury never learned that Myers was in fact the anonymous “Victim Number 2.”
Myers finally testified in a Sandusky hearing on November 4, 2016. He admitted being the boy in the shower when McQueary heard them snapping towels. Yes, he had said earlier that Sandusky had never abused him, that he was a mentor and father figure.
“That would reflect what I said then — not what I would say now,” he said from the stand.
But what would he say now? When the prosecuting lawyer asked if Myers had ever been sexually abused, he said, “Yes,” though he gave no details.
Indeed, he didn’t even say that it was Sandusky who had molested him, though various reporters inaccurately said that he had. The question asked was simply whether he had ever been sexually abused, by anyone.
At any rate, under the circumstances, having received millions as an alleged Sandusky victim, what else would you expect Myers to say? And by this time, with sufficient re-enforcement, coaching, and perhaps counseling with repressed memory therapists, he may really think that Sandusky abused him, which would explain why what he says now might have changed dramatically, as it did in the case of other alleged Sandusky victims who underwent therapy.
It appears that we will have to await a new trial to get the full story of what happened—or didn’t happen—to Allan Myers in that shower room.
The hearing in which Myers testified is one of a series of hearings and filings in which Sandusky’s current lawyers are seeking “post-conviction relief” in the form of a new trial. Judge John Cleland, who presided over the original 2012 trial, will make a decision in the coming months. If he refuses to grant a new trial, the decision will be appealed to a higher Pennsylvania court.
Editors Note: This story has been updated to include the additional $4.97 million awarded in early December to McQueary.
Mark Pendergrast’s Victims of Memory was one of the first investigations of the repressed memory epidemic. He is currently preparing a book about the Sandusky case. He can be reached through his website, www.markpendergrast.com.