Source: Freeh Didn't Interview McQueary

The group investigating the Sandusky scandal at Penn State never spoke to one of the key witnesses in the criminal cases against Sandusky and two former school administrators.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh led an eight-month independent investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, an inquiry that was said to include interviews with hundreds of past and present university employees.

With the results of the probe due to be released Thursday morning, has learned that Mike McQueary — the former Nittany Lions assistant coach who served as a key prosecution witness in the criminal case in which Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of abuse — has not been interviewed by Freeh's investigators.

A source close to McQueary's family, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said McQueary made multiple offers to speak to the Freeh investigators but they did not follow up.

McQueary has emerged as a key figure as this story has unfolded. As a Penn State graduate assistant coach in 2001, he walked into a staff locker room in the Lasch Football Building, where he says he witnessed Sandusky molesting a boy.

Though the victim never came forward, a jury — acting solely on McQueary's secondhand account — found Sandusky guilty on four of the five charges stemming from the incident. It included a felony conviction of unlawful conduct with a minor.

McQueary was also in the middle of the controversy that erupted concerning the way Penn State handled the Sandusky scandal — which has been the focal point of the Freeh investigation.

McQueary did not inform police after witnessing the assault but instead reported it up the chain of command at Penn State. He first spoke with head football coach Joe Paterno and later with athletic director Tim Curley and school vice president Gary Schultz.

McQueary has insisted he was clear in telling his superiors that he witnessed something sexual in nature taking place between Sandusky and the boy. Curley and Schultz — who are both awaiting trial on perjury charges stemming from their testimony to a grand jury investigating Sandusky — argue that McQueary was vague in his description of the incident and have said it was portrayed to them as Sandusky “horsing around” with the boy.

Evidence purported to be from the Freeh Report was leaked to national media outlets in recent weeks. The leaked information suggested Curley, Schultz and former school president Graham Spanier engaged in email conversations in which they strategized on how to deal with McQueary's allegations against Sandusky. A portion of one of the leaked emails implied that Paterno was indirectly involved in the dialogue.

Paterno's family has vehemently denied that the late coach in any way hampered a proper investigation.

Paterno's family issued a statement Tuesday night that, in part, lamented the fact that the Hall of Famer was never given a chance to tell his side of the story regarding the Sandusky scandal. Paterno was fired shortly after the scandal broke in early November and died of lung cancer in late January — more than two months after Freeh's group was hired.

“When the Sandusky case exploded last fall, Joe's first instincts were to tell everything he knew,” the family statement said. “He assumed the University would want to hear from him, but he was never given the chance to present his case.”

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office was already investigating Sandusky in 2010 when it received a tip that McQueary — by that time a full-time assistant coach at Penn State — had important information regarding the case. A short time later, McQueary told the grand jury what he had seen in 2001.

The Freeh Report will be posted online at at 9 a.m. ET Thursday. Freeh will conduct a press conference in Philadelphia an hour later. It will mark the first time he has answered questions about the investigation since it was launched in November.

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