Assistant coach helped stop assault, alerted police, says e-mail

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An assistant football coach at Penn State who was criticized for not helping to stop the sexual assault by former coach Jerry Sandusky corrected the notion in an e-mail, claiming that he helped to stop the incident and alerted the police.

Assistant coach Mike McQueary’s e-mail to a former classmate in November 8 was obtained by The Morning Call, the Allentown, Pennsylvania newspaper. In it, he was found saying that while he did not stop it “physically,” he “made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room.”

He also expressed how difficult it was to be in his shoes those 30-45 seconds, and mentioned that he had discussions with police as well as the university official in charge of police after the incident charged against Sandusky.

This information was the first indication that the police had been alerted.

The grand jury report that came out this month pointed out in 2002, the then-graduate assistant MCQueary had seen Sandusky molesting a boy in the Penn State locker room, and had then alerted the then-team coach Joe Paterno.

Paterno then reportedly informed his boss, the athletic director of the school.

Sandusky has since been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse against eight boys. Penn State officials were also charged with not contacting the police as soon as the complaints were known.

The investigation resulted in Paterno’s being fired last week, along with Graham Spanier, president of Penn State. McQueary, meanwhile, was given administrative leave.

The report indicated that Sandusky developed close relationships with young boys through The Second Mile, a charity Sandusky himself founded for at-risk youths, and then molested them. Against the prosecutors’ wishes, he was granted and freed on a bail of $100,000.

Although every other commonwealth agency is under the open records law of Pennsylvania, Penn State is exempt, which made it hard to get data on who knew what things when it came to the alleged sexual abuse incident.

Terry Mutchier, executive director of the Office of Open Records of the state, confirmed that Penn State and three other schools receiving state funds do not fall under the Right to Know Law of Pennsylvania.

She told CNN that if this had been an investigation regarding a different university that had the scandal at Penn State, it would have been subject to that law.

Mutchler added that obtaining e-mails and copies of incident reports would be available, but at Penn State, that was off-limits.

State lawmakers considered back in 2007 to employ a change that would have the school included in the open records law.

Interestingly, Spanier testified against the move, saying the issue was about compliance and cost, and competitive reasons had them wanting to keep records private.

Spanier had conceded that time that indeed the public had the right to know how public funds were spent, but that the proposal would change the way Penn State operated.

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