Tags: mike mcqueary | verdict | penn state | defamation

Mike McQueary Gets $7 Million Verdict in Penn State Defamation Case

Image: Mike McQueary Gets $7 Million Verdict in Penn State Defamation Case

Assistant coach Mike McQueary of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks the sidelines against the Syracuse Orangemen during the second half at Beaver Stadium Sept. 12, 2009 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 28 Oct 2016 10:38 AM

Former Penn State coach Mike McQueary received a $7.3 million jury verdict in a defamation case Thursday after some fans blamed his testimony in the Jerry Sandusky case for getting head football coach Joe Paterno fired.

McQueary has not worked as a football coach since he was placed on leave after the arrest of Sandusky, a former assistant coach at Penn State, in November, 2011, PennLive.com reported. His contract was later not renewed by the university.

McQueary charged that he was lied to by Penn State officials and defamed after he testified that a decade before Sandusky's 2011 arrest he told Paterno and university officials that he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a Penn State shower, PennLive.com noted.

The jury awarded McQueary $1.5 million in damages for lost wages and other factors, another $1.5 in compensatory damages, and $5 million in punitive damages, all against the university, PennLive reported.

"What Penn State has done to Mike McQueary is outrageous," Elliot Strokoff, McQueary's attorney, told jurors during his closing argument, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He should not have been a scapegoat in this matter, and certainly not for five years."

Penn State attorney Nancy Conrad declined to comment on the case she said at the behest of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Gavin, noted the Daily News.

"This is not a case about Jerry Sandusky," Conrad told the jury, saying that the school's decision not to renew McQueary's contract had nothing to do with the Sandusky investigation, the Inquirer reported. "Any harm that Mike McQueary has suffered . . . is the result of his own failures."

She said he was damaged by criticism that he did not go to the police in 2001, The Associated Press reported.

McQueary's attorneys claimed that then Penn State president Graham B. Spanier defamed him in statements he released in November 2011 where he supported then-athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, who was charged with covering up Sandusky's crimes, the Inquirer noted.

The newspaper wrote that the jury believed that Curley and Schultz lied to McQueary in 2001 about handling Sandusky after McQueary told them about Sandusky.

Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 for sexually abusing 10 boys and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison, reported CNN. He took the stand in an appeal of his convictions in August, saying he was "absolutely not" guilty of the charges, stated the broadcaster.

Paterno was fired Nov. 9, 2011 in connection with the Sandusky scandal after coaching there for 46 years. He died of lung can in January 2012.

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Former Penn State coach Mike McQueary received a $7.3 million jury verdict in a defamation case Thursday after some fans blamed his testimony in the Jerry Sandusky case for getting head football coach Joe Paterno fired.
mike mcqueary, verdict, penn state, defamation
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2016-38-28
Friday, 28 Oct 2016 10:38 AM
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