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Penn State: Mike McQueary put on administrative leave

November 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, a key witness in the child sex abuse scandal, has been placed on administrative leave. School president Rod Erickson announced the move Friday.

It comes one day after the school said McQueary would not be on the field during Saturday's game for his own safety. The university said he received death threats.

"I ask for the support of the entire Penn State community to work together to reorient our culture," said Penn State University President Rod Erickson, who replaced Graham Spanier.

McQueary testified in a grand jury investigation that eventually led to child sex-abuse charges being filed against Jerry Sandusky. He said he witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in the team showers.

He reported that to longtime head coach Joe Paterno, but he did not physically try to stop the abuse or report the incident to police.

Sandusky, who has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period, met most of his victims through The Second Mile charity he founded to help troubled youth.

Thursday night, someone threw pieces of cinderblock through a window of Sandusky's house. No one was home.

Meanwhile in an exclusive interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, the mother of one of the victims spoke out about how her son felt that he didn't have the power to say no to the school's former football assistant coach.

The mother, whose identity was not released, said she gradually became aware of the sexual abuse.

"I had said, 'You know, maybe we should have come to this conclusion earlier. You should have told me,'" the mother said to her son, who's identified as Victim 1 in court documents. "He was like, 'Well, I didn't know what to do. You just can't tell Jerry no.'"

Read more about the mother's exclusive interview with ABC News.

Sandusky, now 67, met Victim 1 when he was 11 in 2005 through the Second Mile program. According to the grand jury investigation, Sandusky had the victim come over to his house on a number of occasions and "indecently fondled" and "performed oral sex" with him.

The court documents said that Sandusky had unfettered access to the boy's high school because he was a volunteer at the football program there.

The mother said that her son even acted out violently on purpose so that he would get grounded and not be able to see Sandusky.

The ensuing scandal has brought down Paterno, who was fired by university trustees Wednesday amid growing criticism that he should have done more to stop the alleged abuse. University President Graham Spanier also was fired.

Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have each been charged with perjury and failing to report an incident of abuse in 2002 to authorities.

On Friday, university officials reiterated that the trustees will vote to form a special commission to investigate the allegations of wrongdoing.

Penn State students held a candlelight vigil Friday night for victims of the abuse.

The university plans to increase security at Saturday's football game, the final home game of the season, versus Nebraska.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

See photos of Penn State students reacting to the firing of Joe Paterno.


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