On 3 February 2012, I sent a letter to Joseph Amendola, the lawyer representing Jerry Sandusky, to alert him to my critique of the assertions about “Victim 2” found in the grand jury presentment made public on 5 November 2011.
The letter said:
“Dear Mr. Amendola:
I’ve been examining the evidence concerning the Sandusky scandal, insofar as it affected Joe Paterno and Penn State University, my alma mater. Perhaps you saw my letter in the Center Daily Times on January 25, 2012, titled “Investigate the Grand Jury.” It provided a brief summary of a lengthy article I’ve written: “Three False Assertions by the Grand Jury turned the Press and Public against Joe Paterno and Penn State.” I’ve enclosed a copy of the article for your perusal.
As the New York Times has correctly observed, the alleged assault by your client against Victim 2, allegedly witnessed by Mike McQueary, “ became the most notorious episode” of all the allegations contained in the grand jury presentment issued on 5 November 2011. But, as my investigation has uncovered, a comparison of Mr. McQueary’s first-hand testimony with the second-hand summary of his testimony in the grand jury report indicates that the grand jury report made three very inflammatory false assertions.
Most notably, the grand jury report asserts that McQueary “saw a naked boy…being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky.” That’s the assertion that became so notorious in the minds of news reporters and the minds of the public. But it’s false. Both in his hand-written statement to investigators in December 2010 and in his testimony during the preliminary hearing for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz on 16 December 2011, McQueary claimed that he didn’t witness ‘insertion.’
Similarly, McQueary’s first-hand testimony contradicts the grand jury report’s second-hand summary of his testimony when it addresses what he told Paterno and what he subsequently told Curley and Schultz. The grand jury report would have the reader believe that McQueary told Paterno about anal intercourse and subsequently told Curley and Schultz about anal sex, when McQueary – in his preliminary hearing testimony – actually asserted that had not used the word anal or rape since day one.
If the grand jury report could contain such egregious errors concerning what McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky doing to Victim 2, what other false assertions does the grand jury report contain? That, of course, is for you to find out. What’s absolutely clear, however, is that the false assertions about Victim 2 tar Sandusky even more than they have tarnish Joe Paterno and Penn State. It has poisoned any potential jury pool.
Walter C. Uhler”
(Those of you who want to read “Three False Assertions” can find it here http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/mcqueary.html . After William Blatty (the author of The Exorcist and a close friend of Joe Paterno since their days at Brooklyn Prep) read this article, he wrote to me to say that it was “wonderfully compelling” and that he intended to send a copy to Sue Paterno, so that she could forward it to Joe’s lawyers. Nevertheless, to cover all the bases, I mailed a copy of my article and Mr. Blatty’s email to Jay Paterno.)
Mr. Amendola responded to my letter in an email he sent to me on 14 February 2012. Here’s the email, minus an irrelevant personal postscript.
“Dear Mr. Uhler:
Thank you for sending me materials concerning the assertions presented by the Grand Jury to the media and the public regarding Coach Paterno and Penn State University. I appreciate the time you have spent in reviewing this matter and your insight into this very important issue. I agree with you that it appears, for whatever reason, the Presentment issued by the Office of Attorney General purportedly made by the Grand Jury investigating Jerry Sandusky, seemed to include information purportedly provided to the Grand Jury by Mike McQueary although Mike McQueary, in subsequent testimony at the preliminary hearings for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz denied he ever used the graphic language contained in the Grand Jury’s Presentment. We have been working on this issue and will continue to do so. Unless you have some significant objection, I plan to share your review of this matter with the media with the hope and expectation they will further investigate and report on the discrepancies you have pointed out in your material.
Thank you again for sharing this information with me. I greatly appreciate your help as well as the help of many others who have been kind enough to share their thoughts and insights on this specific accusation as well as the other accusations made generally against Mr. Sandusky.
Truly, Joseph L. Amendola, Esquire”
Soon after receiving my letter, Mr. Amendola asked the court to provide the actual transcripts of the grand jury testimony. And, on 22 March 2012, Mr. Amendola actually raised the (my) issue of the discrepancy between the grand jury’s second-hand summary of McQueary’s testimony and his actual first-hand testimony.
According to a 22 March 2012 report by Mike Dawson in the Centre Daily Times, Mr. Amendola “filed several pre-trial motions, including motions to dismiss the case.” In one of his motions Amendola argued “that testimony from Mike McQueary doesn’t support the allegations from the second alleged victim. That’s the boy, whose identity prosecutors say remains unknown, who McQueary saw in the shower with Sandusky.”
It was that specific filing by Mr. Amendola that finally prompted me to release our correspondence.
Recently, I’ve written to excoriate the incompetent journalists, especially those at the Philadelphia Inquirer (see: http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/inky.html ), who made the lazy and unwarranted assumption that the grand jury presentment must be true. Their reporting, like much of the reporting across the country, was mere stenography. Worse, the many opinion columns of outrage based upon such shameless stenography recklessly fanned the flames of public outrage against Joe Paterno, Penn State and, yes, even Jerry Sandusky.
Now that they know that Sandusky’s lawyer is investigating the false assertions in the grand jury presentment, perhaps a few of these incompetent journalists will wise up and begin to perform like genuine investigative reporters.