A jury awarded former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary $7.3 million in damages on Thursday, finding that he was defamed by the university after it became public that he had reported seeing another former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky abusing a boy in a team shower.
McQueary was a key witness in the sexual molestation case.
A decade before the Sandusky scandal broke in 2011, McQueary testified that he reported to then-head coach Joe Paterno that he saw Sandusky engaged in a “clear” sex act with a young boy.
McQueary, who was a graduate student at the time, claims because of that testimony he lost his assistant coaching job and was made a scapegoat in the case. He was criticised for failing to stop the abuse he witnessed.
McQueary said that since his testimony was made public he’s been unable to find work, his marriage broke up and he lives with his parents.
The university argued in court that McQueary’s contract was not renewed in a routine shake-up after Paterno was fired. University lawyers also said that McQueary could have reported the crime to the police himself.
A judge has yet to rule on McQueary’s whistleblower claim in the case.
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