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Mike McQueary was a Penn State assistant football coach years ago when Jerry Sandusky, now a state convict, was committing multiple counts of child molestation. McQueary witnessed Sandusky in one of his criminal acts and reported it to the University’s administrators. Public outrage turned against him over the fact that he didn’t report it directly to the police, and no actual investigation into his claim took place for a full 10 years. Since no investigation took place, Sandusky went on committing these horrendous acts of child molestation.
But McQueary claimed to have been misled by Penn State administrators, who allegedly said they would take swift and serious action in spawning an investigation against Sandusky, but did not. McQueary was publicly shamed for his involvement, or lack thereof (his failure to report his claim directly to the police), in the scandal. He lost his job, his home, and finds it impossible to find work since the scandal went public years ago.
“McQueary had been seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other damages, saying he was defamed by a statement the school president released the day Sandusky was charged, retaliated against for helping with the Sandusky investigation and misled by school administrators.”
The jury felt that the administrators at Penn State did not give McQueary “the support they needed to give him.” McQueary’s attorney claimed that McQueary should never have become a scapegoat in this scandal. And the jury felt that since his report in 2001 went uninvestigated for a full 10 years, this left McQueary “as an inviting target for public outrage”.
The jury ruled in favor of McQueary, and McQueary was awarded $2.3 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages. The jury felt that McQueary deserved a large award for punitive damages since his allegation involved sexual abuse of children.
Sandusky is now serving 30-60 years in a state prison. McQueary neglected to comment on the outcome of the case and apparently remained “stoic” as the final verdict was read.