The Jerry Sandusky Case: What Really Happened in Penn State’s Locker Room?

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Photo by Ted Van Pelt via Flickr

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.

Horsing Around

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.

Sandusky later recalled that shower with Myers.

“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

Mark Pendergrast

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.

17 thoughts on “The Jerry Sandusky Case: What Really Happened in Penn State’s Locker Room?

  1. THANK YOU, Mr. Pendergast! This story is so toxic and the public believe ONLY the media. I do NOT believe Jerry Sandusky is guilty of ANYTHING except to mentor these now-men, and they turned on him for money and only money. This case is a classic rush to judgment from the beginning when the board of trustees of PSU fired Joe Paterno.

    I believe there are many people in State College and elsewhere (including former football players) who know Jerry Sandusky is innocent; however, because of the outrage of this case they are too afraid to speak out in fear of retaliation of the public, employers, etc. The public does NOT know anything about this case except what they read or heard from the media, which is a problem in itself. This case NEEDS to be kept in the pubic’s eye and not allowed to die because this case is a true travesty of justice. The people involved from the beginning need to be questioned in a new trial…an UNBIASED trial (unlike the first) and ALL so-called “victims” need to be questioned under oath regarding their “memory therapy,” who they retained as their attorney, who their attorney referred them to for their “memory” therapy, etc. I will end again by thanking you for seeing and writing about this case as what it actually is ….. which is a SHAM!

    I pray Jerry Sandusky is granted a new trial because Jerry Sandusky is an INNOCENT man!

  2. Mark Pendergrast’s article on “What Really Happened in Penn State’s Locker Room” is well researched and right on point. He retells the tale of Allan Myers–the “Boy in the Shower.” He examines the very close relationship between Sandusky and Myers. He notes how Myers did a complete reversal on Sandusky’s innocence when prosecutors and his lawyer convinced him that he had a several million dollar payoff if he could reverse his testimony. Was it possible for him to forget all the good times with Jerry and the Second Mile? Unfortunately, Myers did and collected that payoff. Pendergrast’s work is strong. He is an expert on Repressed Memory Syndrome and chronicles how one “friend” sells out another. What Jerry saw in Allan Myers, I will never know.

    • Professor Gray I presume. I’m not sure if you’ll receive a notification of this reply but I’d lot ask you in regards to the written statement you sent to the BoT if you can confirm that Dr. Jonathan Dranov did indeed use the term “horsing around” or “horseplay” when he described to you the night he spoke with Mike McQueary about the shower incident.
      Thank you.

  3. The testimony which clinched the prosecution case against Jerry Sandusky was what passed for eyewitness testimony. If a man with nothing to gain said that he saw a rape in a shower, who could doubt the accusers stories? Nobody did. Later the prosecution developed a second “eyewitness” which was also bogus, the Ronald Petrosky janitor story. These invented accounts served to obstruct justice by false corroboration of crimes that never happened.

    The stealth weapon of the office of attorney general of Pennsylvania was the use of a suggestive type of therapy called repressed memory therapy. This practice, based on a pseudoscience which has been debunked since 1995, is the topic of Victims of Memory, a book which documents the origins and subsequent false convictions and family estrangement resulting from this type of counseling. All of the original six accusers were involved in this indoctrination. It is now pretty clear ( since the Nov. 4 hearing) that Allan Myers has been converted to these ideas as well, and it is also now known that the attorney Andrew Shubin makes this special therapy a part of his service to clients. In other words, if the client can’t remember abuse to suit, the therapy will see to it that he or she forms a memory worth a settlement. This partnership between therapist and civil attorneys has led to many such false accusations and should be a red flag to juries. However, since both professions are shielded by confidentiality laws, the jury will never know how the “memories of abuse” came to be created.

  4. Okay – I’ll play. I have to comment on the “slapping sounds” in the shower meme.

    The November 2011 grand jury presentment supervised by prosecutor Frank Fina indicting the two PSU administrators Curley and Schultz dealt with sexual abuse of minors and contained the imagery of a youth being violated in a shower on the PSU campus by an elder Sandusky. A sex crime acoustically and physically impossible as described, and later born out as untrue by evidence and testimony to a jury in the courtroom; yet nevertheless the media has repeated this singular lie as if it were the unassailable truth.

    That imagery was burned into the national psyche in late 2011 where it still resides today.

    Let’s review: PA state investigators/state prosecutors/jurists such as Randy Feathers, Frank Fina, Marc Constanza, Barry Feudale and Frank Noonan are just a few key officials involved with the Sandusky case, that are caught up in what we now know as here in our commonwealth as #PornGate and #HateGate.

    We are currently awaiting Pa AG Bruce Beemer to release Doug Gansler/Buckley Sandler LLC’s report on “Porngate” and these ex parte communications that flowed across government servers during Tom Corbett’s tenure as AG/Governor.

    With the pornography specifically, state prosecutor Frank Fina had a trophy stash of hard core pornography on his work computer – that he shared among a network of state officials – that included women engaged in anal sex, oral sex and group sex – as well as women being violated by various objects. To view these images – KNOWING who was sending, sharing and saving them and among what offices – would turn your stomach.

    One has to wonder if Frank Fina, given his arrogance, combined with a voracious appetite for pornography involving the violation of women, ratcheted up (or “Nifonged”) McQueary’s testimony of hearing “three slapping sounds” in a shower – to a narrative of seeing a “rape”. One also has to wonder if he had help from prosecutor Patrick Blessington, who worked the Philadelphia Archdiocese abuse case before he joined these guys in Harrisburg.

    This would certainly firmly anchor the public ire and media fire on the steps of Old Main, burning away on Curley and Schultz – two faceless university admins at the time, in order for them to “flip” on Penn State President Graham Spanier – Tom Corbett’s real target of that grand jury presentment.

    Now remember, Fina and his fellow gunslingers on the PA Corruption Unit used the grand jury process and grand jury leaks as a way to assassinate political rivals for Tom Corbett – see Computergate and Bonusgate.

    Fina’s prosecutorial tactics were used to silence and discredit Penn State officials Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz – falsely charging them with Failure to Report and Perjury. Had they not been charged, their accounts of the 2001 “shower incident” could have been used to impeach the testimony of Mike McQueary during the Sandusky trial. (many charges have since been dropped – what’s left are summary offenses)

    If they wanted to properly work the case, they could have gone right down the reporting chain to Second Mile. They could have charged Dr. Jack Raykovitz and his equally mandated to report charity counterpart and wife, Katherine Genovese with EWOC/FTR & Conspiracy. Fina would have gained election points for Tom Corbett. We would have gotten relevant answers on the Second Mile and CYS. Angry citizens would not have swept Kathleen Kane into office. The porn and ex parte emails never get discovered. There is no constitutional crisis in our state. Everyone in public office would have WON.

    In the final analysis, they didn’t need Mike McQueary. They didn’t need “Penn State”. This was a disastrous calculation by Tom Corbett trying to exact a petty vendetta – that when you add in all the lawsuits, the entities piling on in self-interest, the political theatre and the exponential damage done – it has cost our commonwealth, its flagship institution and its private and public citizens – upwards to Half a Billion dollars.

    This is damage done by state officials inflicted on the very citizens whose constitutional rights they were sworn to uphold.

    • Nothing encapsulates the rush to judgment that happened in 2011 more than the Matt Millen interview right after Paterno’s public interview was cancelled. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MKAt1rm9QA Millen begins saying that emotion should be set aside and the process allowed to work. In a few minutes he agrees that a train is coming down the track and that the University must act immediately in order to avoid disaster. The assumption of innocence for Sandusky lasted about two minutes after the grand jury presentment was leaked to the press.

  5. As an educator for over 50 years as well as a National Teacher of the Year Awardee along with other prestigious awards for my work with young people…..I would NEVER condone child abuse. I am 100% sure that in the Sandusky case…there just was no abuse. I applaud Mr. Pendergrast for writing this wonderful publication to inform others and plead for skeptics to open their eyes to the truth. Mr. Pendergrast is a well known author and expert on repressed memory therapy that has played such an important part in tainting the truth coming from the mouths of the so called victims. I have been friends with Dottie and Jerry for more than 50 years. I also “partnered’ with the Second Mile and sent many of my at risk students to participate in SM events. I testified for the defense in his faulty trial 5 years ago. I was appalled at the time and five years letter I continue to be appalled at how he was railroaded and treated by PSU and the media. I knew some of the fake victims and how much they loved Jerry and looked up to him. I witnessed this in Dottie and Jerry’s home many times. If all the doubters really knew Dottie and Jerry, they would know they are not capable of anything criminal as charged, They lived their lives devoted to helping at risk students. For many years, I had a large 8 by 10 photo hanging in my office in the educational facility where I worked along with one of our very troubled students. Under the photo, I had printed one of Jerry’s famous quotes, “Never give up on a bad boy because a bad boy can turn into a great man”. That quote of Coach Sandusky’s haunts me to this day because I now know it should have read. “Always give up on a bad boy because a bad boy may grow up to be a bad man and stab you in the heart”. This is so sad and inhibiting for all of us who truly wanted to help kids at risk. We are now scared to do so. The author of this piece knows the truth and is trying to help an innocent man who languishes in prison for no reason.

  6. It seems obvious that Jerry Sandusky was railroaded. The grand jury presentment that Mike McQueary witnessed an anal rape in the Lasch locker room show is false. The Freeh Report is a farce. Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz did not enable the acts of a pedophile. Jerry Sandusky’s original trial was patently unfair. Sandusky’s new attorneys, Al Lindsay and Andrew Salemme, have made a compelling case in their lastest PCRA brief that was posted today on the Centre County web pages that Sandusky is entitled to a new trial. If Judge Cleland is remotely objective, he will agree. If not, his decision will be appealed and hopefully an appelate court will see the light. Eventually the truth will be known; and for Jerry’s sake, I hope it is sooner rather than later.

  7. One tiny correction. Of the $2.4 million in fines levied by the fed, only $27.5k were the result of the Sandusky affair and they all related to the PSU BOT handling of the affair. The rest of the fine involved reporting irregularities for actions after and unrelated to Sandusky. The media continues to misreport this fact.

  8. Well researched article. Mr. Pendergrast I’ve delved quite deeply into this case (especially the PSU incidents) & helped others such as John Ziegler find information & if you’re interested I’d be happy to share everything I know about the case. You can contact my via Twitter @adlee7873 or email abby7873@yahoo.com

  9. I am Jerry’s cousin and have said from the beginning that he was innocent I have known him all our childhood and have tried to keep in touch as much as possible,
    there was no doubt in my mind that he is innocent. He called my mother before all
    of this came out in the news what was being said and that he was innocent and not
    to believe what the papers were saying. We are suppose to believe that the system works but in this case it has not and I blame the investigators and the news media
    for putting an innocent man behind bars, someone who has always had a big heart
    and comes from parents who also did the same. Shame on those people who knew them for years and would think that he could do something like this. All I can say is money talks and the lawyers out there for the boys now men should be put behind bars for encouraging the amount of money that could be made on this case.
    I feel someday their time will come and they will get what they deserve, God has a
    way of showing things to people but obviously these people don’t believe in him and would never do the things that they do. I am a Rotarian and it is obvious that
    these people are not because they can’t follow the four way test. What I can’t understand is why it takes so long to get an innocent man out of prison and it took such a short time to put him there.

  10. Is it possible to tell these victims that by now telling the truth they won’t have to forfeit the money? Let them keep the money and just tell the truth so Penn state can restore it’s good name. So the world will know that no one hid sexual abuse in this case. Keep the money and let’s all come clean!

  11. are you people nuts????

    After the 1998 shower event, all parties involved clearly warned Sandusky to stay out of showers with young children. To which Mr. Sandusky clearly agreed with at the time…..now three years later in 2001 here he is yet again on campus in the shower with yet another unrelated child. The man obviously was at best looking for accidental contact with a child in the shower….Even if technically not guilty the man should be in prison for extreme stupidity. I never ever (and all of my friends agree) took a shower with any of my own kids after the age of 5…and only a moron
    would think it possible for any reason to shower with any grown child related
    or not.

    This guy was putting himself in position to intiate sexual contact just like a teen
    in my day would take a date to the drive in for a sexually risque movie…He was
    hoping to get lucky.

    Wake up and see it for what it was…..a total prevert who could at least be jailed for lewd behavior.

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