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Penn State Scandal: Why Mike McQueary Deserves Jail Time

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Assistant coach Mike McQueary of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks the sidelines against  the Syracuse Orangemen during the second half at Beaver Stadium  September 12, 2009 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State won 28-7. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Chris Gardner/Getty Images
Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 9, 2011

Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed Jerry Sandusky performing a sexual act on a young child in a Lasch Football Building shower in 2002…and didn't intervene.

This detail is in the grand jury report about the scandal surrounding Sandusky and Penn State University.

I’ll start this by saying my knowledge of the law is limited, but I understand the idea of an accessory. Usually, however, the person is a witness to murder. In this instance, McQueary was a witness to an alleged rape.

And he left.

These are all things that McQueary has admitted. He must feel terrible, being that he was 28 years old at the time and did nothing. However, the thought that he physically walked away from a rape is disgusting.

He could be considered an accessory to rape.

My take on the definition of an accessory is someone who contributes to the crime, but the legal definition can be read at the link above. By not stopping the crime taking place on March 1, 2002, McQueary could have allowed more rapes to occur.

Some may say living with that guilt is enough, but McQueary should live with that guilt in jail for some time.

Now, McQueary should not be put in jail for the rest of his life. What he did was morally unacceptable, but he does deserve a second chance. However, that second chance should be years down the road when he’s had the proper chance to digest what he’s actually done.

It’s been over nine years since he saw what he saw, and he’s continued to live his normal life. He does not deserve to live his normal life.

Some people want to give McQueary credit for reporting the action to his father over the phone, and that was the right thing to do. But as Mike Golic said on ESPN, McQueary didn't “stop the action.”

From my understanding, McQueary is the second-most responsible person in this case. He’s nowhere near the level of Sandusky, but he still stood aside for nine years.

He must have seen Sandusky in those nine years. In fact, Dave Zirin of the San Francisco Chronicle reports Sandusky came to a Penn State practice in 2007 with a child. He didn’t retire from The Second Mile, his “charity” to benefit underprivileged children, until September 2010.

The victims in the case are listed by number to protect their identity. Here’s a quote from Victim Six’s mother, as reported by Sara Ganim of The Patriot-News.

“I don’t even have words to talk about the betrayal that I feel. [McQueary] was a grown man, and he saw a boy being sodomized ... He ran and called his daddy?”

McQueary is a coward. If he feared for his job on that day, he should fear for more than that in the coming days.

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