The Invisible Victim: "Penn State Scandal" Victim 2: Who He is and What Happened
In the closing arguments of the trial of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football defensive coordinator who was accused of molesting 10 boys, prosecutor Joseph McGettigan referred to 2 alleged victims as “unknown”. One of those alleged victims was Victim 2, the boy that assistant coach Mike McQueary says he saw in the shower with Jerry. What was really unknown to the to the jury is that long before the trial in November of 2011, just days after the Grand Jury presentment of Jerry Sandusky was released, a young man entered Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola’s office to identify himself as Victim 2. He would state that he wasn’t molested that night Mike McQueary saw him in the showers with Jerry. Weeks later his DUI defense lawyer Andrew Shubin would find out about this meeting and ban Jerry’s lawyers from talking to his client. Shubin’s client would later claim Sandusky molested him before and after the McQueary incident but strangely never specified he was molested that day McQueary saw him.
For reasons that seem quite obvious neither defense nor prosecution chose to call this young man to testify as his testimony hurt the defense’s case by claiming he was molested, and hurt the prosecution’s case by destroying the claims of McQueary that he saw a sexual assault. McQueary played an important part in the case as he was the only independent direct eyewitness to claim he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy. As Victim 2, this young man we’ll refer to as A.M., later sued Penn State and settled with them for what was reportedly one of the college’s highest pay offs.
In light of recent declarations that are going around that the man who has claimed to be Victim 2 in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case is not victim 2 I am compelled to explain why this man is likely indeed Victim 2. One thing when looking at theories you must do is separate what has been cited as real evidence as opposed to pure opinion with little or nothing backing it. The current evidence about Victim 2 is this: On February 9 2001, Mike McQueary walked into the staff locker room in the Lasch football building at PSU campus. The showers and lights were on and Mike claims he heard 2 or 3 rhythmic slapping noises. He says he then, while standing at his locker, saw in the reflection of the sink mirrors Jerry Sandusky in the showers standing behind the boy. On a 2nd glance he saw Sandusky’s arms around the boy. After moving closer on a 3rd glance McQueary claims they both faced him and looked at him. (It should be noted that as of yet no evidence backs up McQueary’s conjecture that Jerry saw him as both Jerry and A.M. both state they didn’t see Mike, and Tim Curley’s Grand Jury testimony indicates that he was careful not to reveal to Sandusky who the witness was. Why does Mike appear to have stopped mentioning that he thinks Jerry and the boy saw him by the time he speaks to Joe Paterno? I submit that it is possible that from the somewhat obstructed view as illustrated in Eileen Morgan’s document comparing the witness testimonies: and with their vision obstructed by water and/or soap in their eyes that both Jerry and the boy could’ve been facing Mike for that brief moment and not seen him. (Also, note from Eileen’s document that Dr. Dranov’s trial testimony appears to contradict Mike’s claim Sandusky saw him and that Mike said the boy seemed to be looking around the edge of the wall. John McQueary’s testimony is that Mike told him “I peeked my head around the corner into a mirror saw the two in the shower. And then further looked around the corner and saw them kind of eye to eye.” )
In a letter to investigators before his Grand Jury testimony McQueary says that he would not recognize the boy if he saw him today. To say that McQueary’s assertion that Jerry and the boy saw him is questionable is more than reasonable. McQueary also testifies that neither Victim 2 nor Sandusky ever showed any kind of expression when he saw their faces. That seems to be an odd ‘non-reaction’ by someone who had just walked in on them in a shower in a practically empty building after hours, especially if there had been something sexual going on as McQueary claimed. McQueary immediately leaves after that face-to-face moment. McQueary then starts a chain of reporting that eventually appears to stop with the heads of Sandusky’s charity ‘The Second Mile’.
It’s important to point out that until May 2012 it was widely accepted and publicized that the date of the incident McQueary witnessed was March 1, 2002. Everyone that testified at the Grand Jury presentment unanimously agreed on that date and when A.M. gave his account, he too believed the date to be March 1, 2002. This is not uncommon for people’s memories to be manipulated by outside information especially if it is widely accepted by everyone at the time. It is called False Memory and it is often considered in legal cases involving child abuse. It is important to keep in mind that in the mind A.M. he believed as everyone else did at the time that the incident happened March 1, 2002. *On a side note I noticed in many parts of the testimonies and interviews that spring break is what stuck in their minds and that may be why everyone zeroed in on March instead of February as the month of the incident.
I will now be focusing on the timeline of the two meetings between Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Sandusky because they help zero in on when the alleged call took place between Sandusky and the man known as victim 2. Based on testimonies of Curley and McQueary as well as the prison interview Sandusky did with John Ziegler here are the possible dates of the meeting between Curley and McQueary and the 2 meetings between Sandusky and Curley. 2/18, 19 or 20 Curley calls McQueary. 2/18, 19, 20 or 21 Curley and McQueary meet. Between 2/26 and 3/5 Curley calls or meets with Sandusky’s for the 1st time after the incident. Between 3/5 and 3/7 Curley and Sandusky’s 2nd meeting happens. It is important to note that in Sandusky’s interview he states that it was during spring break that Curley had his last meeting with him. Spring break that year started in the 1st week of March.
Now simple logic would suggest that Sandusky’s call to Victim 2 to tell him that Penn State officials may call him would fall sometime after Jerry’s 1st meeting in which he doesn’t remember the shower and before the 2nd meeting in which he offers to identify Victim 2. Because Curley says he does not obtain Victim 2’s identity, Sandusky would have made the call to A.M. before offering to tell Curley who he was. Curley estimates the time between his 1st and 2nd meeting with Sandusky was between 1 and 2 days. That places that phone call somewhere likely in that 1st week of March. Furthermore, in a March 1 email to Gary Schultz, Tim Curley writes, “I am planning to meet with the person next Monday on the other subject”. That Monday would have been March 5. In his interview with the Sandusky defense’s investigator, the man known as Victim 2 states he received that call from Jerry within a week of the alleged March 1 incident. This means he identified the time of the call right around the time it would have happened. It makes perfect sense that Jerry would contact the boy he is about to offer to identify to Curley and let the boy know Penn State may call. The fact that this young man’s claim that Jerry called him about a PSU inquiry in his statement precedes all other statements about the call, falls in the perfect time range and has never been refuted by Curley or his lawyer’s despite them refuting claims by others, suggests the validity that this call occurred and that this young man received that call. According to Jerry’s wife Dottie, Jerry even told her about the meeting and told her the name of the boy.
It has been suggested by some that there may have been another boy who showered with Jerry the night McQueary saw him and that Jerry intentionally chose the wrong boy to avoid trouble. The fatal flaw in this theory is that Jerry had no way of knowing if the witness (Mike McQueary) could identify the boy in the shower and in offering Tim Curley the name and phone number of the boy he had to realize McQueary might be brought in to identify the boy. To offer Curley the wrong boy would have immediately aroused strong suspicion and likely triggered the next step in the Penn State officials’ plan, which was to alert the Department of Public Welfare. This theory has no evidence that places a specific person in those showers on or near February 9, 2001. Nobody else claims abuse for this incident other than A.M.. A generalized unbacked theory like this is as baseless as possible as the theory that aliens shot JFK. Proving something is remotely possible without any specific and positive evidence backing it or saying a flaw in someone’s story means they must not be who they say they are is an irresponsible way to conduct an investigation. To say that because A.M. used March 1, 2002 (the same date everyone else was using at the time) and that he stated the same week of the incident he was called (which would have been the 1st week in March and likely correct) represents proof he’s not victim 2 is to disregard scientific understanding in how people’s memory works.
Considering the circumstances and time that had passed since the incident those 2 points of evidence do nothing to diminish his claim any more than anyone else involved in that incident. Another point made was that the man used Mike McQueary’s name in his statement as who witnessed him and that the Grand Jury presentment didn’t have Mike’s name on it. The fact is this man made his statement on November 9, 2011 and McQueary had already been outed as the “Graduate Assistant” by the news media on November 6, 2011. It’s not just possible but likely he got Mike’s name from those news reports. Another more pedantic complaint is that he said he heard the wooden locker door ‘close’, but did not say slam. Well, McQueary himself in parts of his later testimonies used the word ‘closed’ and not slam, and maybe the noise of all the showers running diluted the slam noise for the boy. More importantly, he mentions hearing one of the wooden lockers close when at the time that information was not revealed to the public. How often after building hours during its most inactive month would you expect to hear just one locker door close while you showered? It would have been notable enough to remember and after receiving the call from Jerry would have likely stuck in his memory even more.
Another misleading claim about him is that he was 14 and a 9th grader at the time of the incident. He was actually 13 and the speech in which he was referred to as a 9th grader was featured in ‘The Second Mile’ annual report for August 31, 2001 which are produced the following year (2002) meaning that speech almost certainly took place after August 31, 2001 when he would have just been starting 9th grade at the earliest. This means he was in 8th grade and 13yrs old at the time of the shower incident. McQueary estimated the boy looked between 10 and 12yrs old but our subject has been described as a late bloomer by Sandusky and from the photo in that same Second Mile annual report he appears to have a slight build and baby face that could easily be mistaken for a 12yr old. As Ray Blehar explained in this article: The Second Mile Sandusky Scandal: Searching for Truth in a Fog of Deception McQueary’s memory could also have been influenced by things he was told by investigators. McQueary also testified the boy stood at about chest height to Sandusky. Sandusky stands 6’1” and the CDC chart for growth in boys says the average height for a boy who is 13, going on 14, is around 5’4” which is 9 inches shorter than Sandusky. Factoring in that McQueary’s view of them when they were next to each other was when the boy was leaning against the wall and you can subtract possibly an inch or 2. This would certainly make him appear to be at around chest height next to Sandusky. Sandusky himself stated A.M. was at about chest height at that time which suggested he may have been a little shorter than average at that time. It should be noted at the time Sandusky gave his interview he was already convicted and sentenced to what basically amounted to life in prison and the man he’s talking about has already reportedly accused him of sexually abusing him and is filing a lawsuit against Penn State based on this abuse.
Sandusky has no reason to support the idea he’s Victim 2 unless he truly is and Sandusky knows it. The fact that this young man became an accuser after recently defending Sandusky put him in the position of being a liability to both the defense and the prosecution at the Sandusky trial. Unlike Matt Sandusky who testified on Jerry’s behalf and then later flipped, A.M. reportedly wanted to testify that Sandusky molested him on several occasions but has never claimed Sandusky raped him that night McQueary witnessed. He also became a liability to the legal defense of Gary Schultz when he and his lawyers chose to sue Penn State for being responsible for not doing enough to stop Sandusky. It is no surprise that Schultz’ attorney only chose to publicly question this man right after his lawyers announced publicly he was Victim 2 and was suing Penn State. It is important to note that none of these lawyers or the court has ever legally disputed or refuted his claim as being Victim 2. Schultz’ attorney has mentioned that this Victim 2 gave his account 4 times and that his stories varied, but this is not uncommon in child sex abuse cases as has been noted by FBI special investigator Ken Lanning who wrote one of the most respected books on child sex abuse investigation; Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis
Aaron Fisher (Victim 1) struggled with several attempts at testifying against Sandusky before his story was accepted. Several other victims in this case changed their stories too. Why is this doubt only being cast on those that were not picked for the trial? As Ken Lanning notes in his book - it is common for prosecutors to limit the amount of victims in their charges to the least amount needed for a satisfactory conviction. This is done to avoid dragging more victims unnecessarily through the painful trial process.
Schultz’ lawyer also said that the man was asked to draw a diagram of the showers where the incident occurred, but in this case, he had not been in those showers for at least 9 years and may have only been in that specific locker room a few times. Also at the time of the incident that A.M. said was not sexual, it would not have registered to the boy as something traumatic thus giving less reason for such a detail to be committed to memory. Could you remember the exact layout of a locker room you used a few times 9 years ago? As Ray Blehar showed here: Only Victim Found Not Credible By Jury Is Awarded Settlement Victim 5 dramatically changed the date of his assault from 1998 to 2001 and Victim 9 also changed his abuse timeline to go beyond November 2008 into the fall of 2009. “According to Judge Cleland, child victims are not held to recall the specific dates because of the time lapse between the abuse and when the victim's eventually disclose.”-Ray Blehar.
If only 3 years passed between Victim 9’s last incident and his testimony, and he was still originally off by nearly a year, why is it unacceptable for Victim 2 to struggle getting timeframes and dates right? There seems to be a double standard in judging victims here. If you are going to cast such doubts about victims, then those same standards must be used for all of them. In the July 30 preliminary hearing for Graham Spanier, his attorney Elizibeth Ainslie asked Anthony Sassano in reference to V2, “Do you know who that child is?” and “did you make a decision not to call that child to testify at Mr. Sandusky’s trial?” In response to an objection, she said, “Your honor, this is at the heart of this case”. She first asks Sassano if he knows who Victim 2 is and then references a decision made by prosecutors not to call A.M. to testify. She is making a direct connection between Victim 2 and A.M.. These statements by Ms. Ainslie would imply she believes A.M. is Victim 2, otherwise if she believed he was not, he would have no real relevance to her case.
To say simply because one victim got to testify in court and the other didn’t means one’s more valid then the other is foolish. This man was willing to testify in court but was not given that opportunity. Lawyers get to choose their witnesses based on how they support their case. Nobody was compelled to bring him to the stand simply because he was telling the truth. If the truth he told did not support either lawyer’s case, they had every right to avoid having him testify. It is an argument that disregards how lawyers present their cases. It has been pointed out that one of Jerry’s attorneys (Joe Amendola) once said months before the trial he wasn’t sure this man was Victim 2 but later Amendola gives documentary film maker John Ziegler a copy of A.M.’s statement as Victim 2 and then appears in John’s film supporting the statement of this young man.
Sandusky’s other attorney Karl Rominger believes his statement "We believe that he was credible when he gave a statement to our investigator that nothing happened." In A.M.’s statement he says he quit ‘The Second Mile’ in 6th grade. This has been pointed out as being a lie but when you read his full statement you will see he states he first joined ‘The Second Mile’ in high school (Grade 7). If he intended to lie about when he left ‘The Second Mile’, he wouldn’t have said in the same statement he started with them in 7th grade. This clearly suggests a typo or that the young man misspoke and not that he intentionally lied. Or that he simply was referring to The Second Mile Camp as suggested by Jerry in this excerpt from a letter to John Ziegler: "I think that what he is saying is he dropped out of ‘The Second Mile’ camp when he went to the high school in seventh grade. He had gotten to know me and because of his interest in football, attended my football camps free, as a replacement. Eventually, he would attend more than one and I employed him to do work while he participated. Eventually he did some coaching. He still felt very much part of ‘The Second Mile’, came to the camp as a success story, knew the staff, attended events, and was tutored some. He gave a great speech, which shocked me, because he is not talkative. It came from his heart, and he put a lot of effort into it. He also enjoyed drawing and made the first rendering of ‘The Second Mile’ center for excellence, which convinced a major donor to participate."
There is another theory that in 2011 Jerry decided to either convince this young man he was Victim 2 or conspire with him to pretend to be Victim 2. While Jerry did contact this man through phone calls and allegedly one meeting, there is no evidence of what they talked about except a voice message where Jerry says he should go forward and there’s nothing to hide. A.M.’s lawyers have claimed that several other phone calls and other evidence they possess actually prove he is Victim 2. Had Jerry tried to get him to falsely claim to be Victim 2 it seems odd he would not give him vital information like when the incident actually occurred because Jerry told his lawyer he disputed the 2002 date within weeks of the Grand Jury presentment.
Had he coached this man to lie he’d have certainly thought to give him the right year and month for the incident. Wouldn’t they have gone through the shower to get the layout just right? Jerry still had access to that area. How could Jerry possibly know another man claiming to be Victim 2 would not come forward and destroy their façade? If Jerry was caught trying to get someone to pose as Victim 2, any chance of him being found not guilty would disappear. Yet he would risk all his freedom for disproving only one of the several incidents where he was accused of committing crimes? Was he Nostradamus? When this young man flipped on him after his conviction and accused him of molesting him why would Jerry still be claiming he is Victim 2 when he knows the man is suing his beloved Penn State under claim of being Victim 2? Most importantly, as I demonstrated earlier in this article, when Jerry offered the identity of the boy to Tim Curley in 2001 it would make no sense to offer the wrong boy because McQueary could have destroyed such a scheme by saying that it wasn’t the boy he’d seen. So then, one would have to assume this man in 2011 who’s saying he’s Victim 2 must not be the one Jerry offered back in 2001. So why does he remember being called in March when he was a boy? Why would Jerry not use the same person he offered to Curley in 2001? How would Jerry know that the “real” Victim 2 would not surface and ensure his guilt and conviction at the trial by exposing this alleged cover-up by Jerry? It’s easy to look back after these events are cemented into history and say “Ahh this would be the perfect plan.” and then theorize that this is what happened. However, if you place yourself in the uncertainty of the time when these events are happening you realize how insane such a plot would be for anyone who was not psychic. Jerry Sandusky, a man who could not make it through an interview with Bob Castas without incriminating himself somehow masterminded this plot before he even knew exactly what the Grand Jury presentment would say. Even in cases of confirmed pedophiles who groom their victims there is no prerequisite for them to be evil genius masterminds because most of their techniques are learned from either their own abuse or through years of slowly testing the waters. For Sandusky to have tricked this young man into thinking he was Victim 2 would’ve required him to fit the part so precisely that he’d never realize he wasn’t Victim 2. What are the odds of having a spare person who fit the part of Victim 2 so well? Where is the real Victim 2 if this man isn’t him? Would you stand by and let some fraud collect millions of dollars that you could have easily claimed? This other Victim 2 could have easily made his claim in complete anonymity and exposed a fraud while being financially set for life. There are only a few people who could’ve even been placed with Jerry on the date of February 9, 2001 and nobody has offered a more likely substitute than A.M.. It’s easy to nitpick through testimonies and evidence, and claim any flaw you find is proof that this person is a fraud. But then, you have to fill that which you’ve dismissed and so often once the microscope is turned to your theory it becomes exposed for the lack of concrete evidence it has and falls like a house of cards.
The cold, hard facts are these: There is only one known man claiming to be Victim 2. Both Jerry and Dottie Sandusky have identified him as Victim 2. He falls within the age, size and time period to reasonably fit the description of Victim 2. His lawyers identify him as Victim 2, and have publically stated their lawsuit with him against Penn State is as Victim 2 ,and Penn State settled with them on that lawsuit by victim 2. There is no hard evidence to refute his claim as Victim 2. Nobody in the judicial system has ever legally disputed or refuted his claim as Victim 2. No witnesses in the case have ever disputed his claim as Victim 2. In summary, without solid proof that he is not Victim 2 and without a better alternative, asserting that this man is not Victim 2 is premature and to claim this man is an imposter publically is unfair to a person who could be a victim. It is akin to someone casting doubts that you are not the father of your child, or that you were adopted, or that you have been brainwashed into thinking you are someone you are not but that person casting doubts cannot prove it. Wouldn’t you be bothered by that?
I apologize for the lengthiness of this article but I wanted to address as many questions and doubts as I could.
Related Articles for Penn State fans:
A legacy in hindsight: How will Joe Paterno be remembered?
Curley Schultz Hearing Transcript
Transcript of Proceedings (Criminal Jury Trial): Gerald A. Sandusky
Grand Jury Investigation: Gerald A. Sandusky
Stature-for-age and Weight-for-age percentiles: Boys
West Branch Area Junior-Senior High School
Jerry Sandusky Case: Mike McQueary, Current Penn State Assistant, Identified As Eyewitness
Image Credit: Adam Clark