Penn State to Pay ‘Scapegoat’ in Jerry Sandusky Case $12M
A judge ruled Penn State humiliated and retaliated against Mike McQueary last week.
Penn State University was ordered to pay former assistant football coach Mike McQueary more than $12 million in a defamation lawsuit relating to the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.
The final figure awarded to McQueary was decided Nov. 30 after a judge added more than $5 million to the $7.3 million jury verdict announced Oct. 27.
The original figure was determined when a jury ruled in McQueary’s favor that he was defamed and misrepresented by Penn State after telling investigators in 2011 he’d reported Sandusky’s abuse to superiors a decade before. Judge Thomas Gavin later found that the school also retaliated against McQueary and humiliated him.
McQueary reported to then-head coach Joe Paterno and two other administrators that he’d seen Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a team shower in 2001. None of McQueary’s superiors reported the allegations to police, and it took ten years before an investigation into Sandusky led investigators to interview McQueary.
As the scandal became public in 2011, McQueary was placed on administrative leave and ordered to keep out of athletic facilities. McQueary was also ordered to clean out his office in front of his colleagues, a fact highlighted by Judge Gavin to show humiliation, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Since his termination in 2012 McQueary, who had been making $140,000 a year as an assistant football coach, has been unable to get even entry-level retail jobs and had to move back in with his parents.
Penn State has never publicly acknowledged that McQueary was in line with school policies when he reported the abuse or when he spoke to investigators.
The ruling is the latest blow for Penn State related to the Sandusky scandal. A day before Judge Gavin’s decision, PSU President Eric Barron announced the school would not appeal a historically large Clery Act fine handed down after an investigation by the Department of Education.
Sandusky, 72, is currently serving 30 to 60 years in state prison after his conviction.
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