Wednesday, September 13

Legal Issues with Ganim's 2011 Police Report

If a police report from November 23, 2011 existed, as Sara Ganim's and CNN's story claimed, then why wasn't it part of the evidence in the Conspiracy of Silence and Sandusky cases, as well as the Freeh Report?

Ray Blehar

Sep 13, 2017: 11:24 PM EDT, Updated: 11:42 PM EDT, Updated Sep 14, 2017: 10:22AM

As is typically the case, readers of this blog provide many insightful comments in the comment section, by text, and by email.

There were some great points made by Tim Berton on Monday's blog post, in which he pointed out that a November 23, 2011 police interview could  have been a rehearsal for Mike McQueary's December 2011 preliminary hearing testimony.  He also pointed out the opening statement by McGettigan didn't make sense and concluded it was a transcription error.   

As I wrote tonight's post, I found yet another transcription error.  

This is important because many have contended Paterno didn't tell the grand jury "it was a sexual nature," but rather asked "was it a sexual nature?" The words were transposed.  And a question made more sense based on the equivocating nature of Paterno's testimony.

That issue remains open for debate.

Back to the point of tonight's post.

I  received some exceptionally insightful comments via text message from a gentleman who does consulting work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  He pointed out that the 2011 police report undoubtedly would have come out during the court case of former Penn State University (PSU) President Graham Spanier.

Evidence that Spanier Was Lying About 1998
He stated that if  a police report from November 23, 2011 contained the information McQueary alleged about Paterno's knowledge of 1998, wouldn't McQueary have testified to that at the trial of Spanier?

Indeed, if Paterno had admitted to knowing about the 1998 incident, prosecutors would have definitely wanted to use that evidence to make a case that Spanier was lying about his lack of knowledge of that incident.

While McQueary couldn't testify to the hearsay, if the prosecution had that informaton in 2011, wouldn't they have re-interviewed Paterno in an attempt to get a first hand account?  And if they did, prosecutor's could have shown that everyone in the decision making loop at PSU knew about 1998 and that it would have strained credulity that the President would not know.

Spanier was the ultimate target of the AG's investigation.

But prosecutors didn't ask Paterno about his statement when he was re-interviewed on December 6, 2011.

He also pointed out that if the Attorney General (AG) had this inculpatory evidence in its possession and withheld it, then what exculpatory evidence was withheld?

Spanier's attorneys should be asking that question.

Ganim/CNN:  Unwittingly exposed discovery violation?
Ganim, who was formerly a crime and courts reporter, may have unwittingly exposed discovery violations by the AG.  Also, her explanation of the courtroom strategy (for not using the information from the police report because to avoid bringing Paterno into it) doesn't hold water. 

McQueary made several hearsay statements about Paterno throughout the judicial process, including at the Sandusky trial.  Interestingly, McQueary testified his meeting with Paterno lasted about five minutes because the former coaching legend "didn't like to talk or (sic) a long time."

Paterno didn't like to talk for a long time?  But he takes the time to trade in rumor mongering with a lowly grad assistant?

I'm sure Mike will clear this all up in one of the versions of his memoirs.

"Jerry doesn't like girls"
If the prosecution believed Mike McQueary was a credible witness, then it is very difficult to understand why Dottie Sandusky and Sue Paterno weren't called to testify at the Sandusky trial about Dottie's alleged statement.

The prosecution was making the case that Jerry was a serial preferential child molester that preyed on young boys.  While Dottie might lie about this statement because of her marriage to Jerry, Sue Paterno would have no reason to lie.

Dottie, who testified at her husband's trial as a defense witness, was not asked if she made that statement.

Prosecutors did not call Sue Paterno as a witness.

Missing From Freeh Report
There is little doubt among anyone who has followed the scandal that PSU's Board of Trustees hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct an "investigation" for the purpose of justifying its decision to remove Spanier and Paterno from their positions on November 9, 2011.

There is also substantial evidence, especially emails obtained by PSU alumnus Ryan Bagwell and court documents in the Corman v. NCAA case,  that Freeh and the AG were collaborating and sharing information regarding the investigation into PSU officials.

As such, it is difficult to believe that the AG did not provide the 2011 police report to Freeh so that he would have more evidence of Paterno's knowledge of the 1998 incident.   The Freeh Report's only evidence that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident was a single email that was ambiguous at best.

But Freeh, a former prosecutor, didn't include this evidence in his report.

The existence (reality) of the 2011 police report is crumbling given its importance to helping the court cases of the prosecution,  in justifying the decision to remove Paterno by the PSU BOT, and because its suppression would have violated discovery in cases involving Mike as a witness.

It's time for CNN and Ganim to put up or shut up.

Note:  This post was updated on September 14 to reflect Paterno was re-interviewed on December 6, 2011, but not asked about his statement regarding a second incident.

Monday, September 11

Ganim: Desperate to be Relevant

Sara Ganim's factually challenged report that Joe Paterno may have known about Sandusky's sexual abuse prior to 2001 was nothing more than a desperate attempt to revive a career that plummeted after she left the Harrisburg Patriot News

Ray Blehar

Sep 11, 2017, 11:19 PM EDT, Updated Sep 13, 10:04 PM EDT

On the morning of the Pitt-Penn State football game, CNN's Sara Ganim sided with her alma mater's rival to allege that Joe Paterno "knew" about Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children prior to Sandusky's arrest in November 2011.

The release of the story on the morning of the  rivalry game was the "tell" that Ganim was desperate for attention and to regain some limelight.  That's something she's seen very little of since CNN made the mistake of hiring someone who purported herself to be an investigative reporter after winning a Pulitzer prize for local reporting in 2012.

The focus of Ganim's story was a previously unknown police report from November 2011 that contained some hearsay from Mike McQueary regarding Paterno's remarks to him.  McQueary alleged that Paterno, when being told about the shower incident in 2001, told him it was the second such report he'd received about Sandusky.

Ganim did not provide a link to - or screen shots of -- the purported police report from November 2011.  Nor did she provide any corroborating information from any of the subjects mentioned in her column and relied upon unnamed and/or unreliable sources.

But from the alleged hearsay, Ganim erroneously concluded:

"...Joe Paterno knew years before Jerry Sandusky's arrest that his longtime assistant might be sexually abusing children."

The prior incident being referenced in McQueary's hearsay statement was the 1998 child abuse investigation of Jerry Sandusky.

No sexual abuse (or child abuse) in 1998 incident

The 1998 investigation concluded with child welfare agents determining that showering with children did not rise to the level of child abuse -- let alone sexual abuse.   Here is a quote from lead investigator Jerry Lauro from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW):

"It didn't meet the criteria. If I really thought there were any child abuse ... I definitely would have indicated it."

The investigation also resulted in the district attorney concluding there was insufficient evidence to charge Sandusky with indecent assault and lesser crimes, such as (misdemeanor) child endangerment. Ganim's Pulitzer prize winning reporting from 2011 and 2012 blamed Gricar for failing to stop Sandusky in 1998, but former Penn State police detective Ronald Schreffler had a different take.

"It'd be a little hard for them to prosecute, when you have the state saying there wasn't any abuse."

The results of the 1998 investigation -- and other evidence -- simply blows apart the rationale for Ganim's narrative that Paterno may have had knowledge of Sandusky's sexual abuse of children prior to 2001.   However, she drew more erroneous conclusions based on the 1998 incident.

For example:

"The police report casts fresh doubt on the mountain of denials by Paterno, his family and his loyalists that the coach knew anything of Sandusky's serial molestation before the 2001 incident."
No it doesn't --  because the 1998 investigation didn't conclude there was "molestation," let alone "serial molestation."
It contradicts the head coach's testimony before a grand jury and his published statement a week before he died in 2012 that he "had 'no inkling' that Sandusky might be a sexual deviant" until he heard the shocking allegation from McQueary."
No it doesn't --  because the 1998 investigation didn't conclude Sandusky was a "sexual deviant" or even a threat to the welfare of children.

Ganim's column also implies that Paterno was given detailed information about the 1998 incident from former Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley.   

Curley testified this spring that he had a conversation in 1998 with Paterno about that allegation. 

Court records of Curley's testimony show otherwise, as Curley believed the incident took place in the shower area, not inside the shower, and that Curley was not informed that Sandusky and the child were naked.

The evidence so far does not support Ganim's story that Paterno was aware of previous sexual acts by Sandusky in the least -- and there's little evidence to support many of the other conclusions she drew in the column.

Sandusky Trial Did NOT Avoid Penn State

Ganim's column was wrong about the prosecution's avoidance of pulling Penn State into the trial.

"We structured the whole case around avoiding Penn State," a source close to the prosecution said. "We were terrified (of acquittal)."

Indeed, in his opening remarks to Sandusky's jury, lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan said, "The Pennsylvania State University is not on trial." McGettigan wouldn't comment for this story.

As you will see below, Ganim cherry-picked just one part of the opening statement to make this conclusion to a mostly unwitting public.

However, in his next set of statements, McGettigan absolved The Second Mile of any responsibility for Sandusky and then followed up by implying that Penn State did.

Ganim, who covered the Sandusky trial as a local crime reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot News, apparently did not understand the significance of the prosecutions' order in which it had victim  testify.

An investigative reporter would have.

Victim 4 was the first to testify and he didn't testify because he was the most credible.  In fact, two of the charges related to his victimization were dismissed by the trial judge.  Moreover, his testimony put the prosecution's entire case at risk because his testimony was unlike any of the other victims who had been victimized over a long period of time by Sandusky.

While all of the other long-term victims testified to molestation occurring in Sandusky's home, Victim 4 testified that it never happened there. He alleged that all victimization took place in the Penn State locker rooms, at Toftrees, or at hotels were the football team stayed.

Not only did the prosecution use Victim 4 make the case about Penn State, but it specifically zeroed in on Penn State football.

It would be hard for someone to legitimately argue otherwise.

If this case was about the suffering of the victims, then the prosecution should have presented the only known, confirmed victim of anal rape -- Victim 9 -- on the stand first.  The jury was emotionally upset after he testified and they convicted Sandusky on all related charges.

If this case was not about Penn State, then why not present the victims in the order they were found during the investigation?   Aaron Fisher was a compelling witness and the jury convicted on all related charges.

There is little doubt that the reason why Victim 9 and/or Fisher didn't testify first was because none of their victimization took place on the Penn State campus.

As layed out above, it was clear from the opening statement and through the presentation of the witnesses that the prosecutors were utilizing the Sandusky trial to place blame on Penn State officials for failing to protect children from Sandusky.  At the same time, they utilized the trial to absolve everyone else, especially The Second Mile, of the failing to carry out their legal responsibilities to do the same..

Ganim's column also contained this incredible passage about the  Sandusky trial, according to her "source close to the prosecution."

"They hated the whole Penn State conspiracy thing" 
Oh, really?

The grand jury presentment written by the prosecutors in the fall of 2012 that formed the basis for the charges against Penn State officials was titled as the "Conspiracy of Silence."

The Sandusky trial evidence in no way supports the conclusions from her (alleged) unnamed source.

Does Ganim really believe the manure she shoveled in this column or was she just desperate to write something -- anything -- to be relevant?

Regardless, the evidence so far shows that she cannot separate fact from fiction or fantasy from reality.

Unreliable Sources

As shown just above, any reasonable person familiar with the facts of the Sandusky case can easily debunk her stories and discredit her sources.

Ganim's May 2016 story alleged that in 1971, Jerry Sandusky picked up a 15 year-old hitch-hiker dubbed Victim A, then Sandusky molested him.

Here's Ganim's factually challenged account:

"Victim A says he was hitchhiking when Sandusky picked him up, bought him beer, gave him pot -- and then attacked him as he was standing at a urinal in a Penn State bathroom.
"I felt his presence behind me," he said. "I felt his left knee on the back of my knee, and his arms went around me, grabbing my ..." he trails off. "He said, 'Let me help you with this.'"
Victim A said he jerked his head back, hitting Sandusky in the jaw. His head started bleeding and they both fell to the floor.
"Then there was a wrestling session," he says. "And I lost. One thing led to another and the crime happened."
Victim A was already a troubled kid. During a church sleepover the year before, he said he was molested by a local priest. When he tried to report it, he was thrown out of the church. He was living with foster parents when Sandusky attacked him.

A day after the assault, Victim A's foster mom noticed the cut on his head. She pestered him about what happened. And when he told her, she and her husband -- who owned a local bowling alley and knew many high-ranking school officials -- called Penn State against his wishes. "I was blindsided," he said, adding that his foster father told him, "I assure you the police won't be called, but you gotta tell these people what happened."

He found himself on the phone with two men from Penn State.
"I tell them what happened -- well, I couldn't get it out of me that I was -- I can't even tell it to this day. It's just degrading -- that I was raped," he said.
"I told the story up to a certain point. I told them that he grabbed me and that I got the hell out of there."
He insisted that he "made it very clear" it was a sexual attack.
"I made it clear there were things done to me that I just can't believe could have been done to me and I couldn't escape. I said, 'I'm very upset and scared and I couldn't believe I let my guard down.' They listened to me. And then all hell broke loose.
"They were asking me my motive, why I would say this about someone who has done so many good things.

The details of the story reveal that Victim A was lying to Ganim because they are not aligned with the  method of operation and ritualistic nature of Sandusky's crimes.  Ganim did not challenge any of this account, though she knew, or should have known, from her background as a former PSU student, Centre Daily Times reporter, and her coverage of the trial, that none of the details fit.

However, Victim A's account of the follow up by his foster parents should have been too much for any reasonable person to believe.

Why would they call Penn State if their foster child was a rape victim?  Shouldn't they have called the police or DPW?   And even if they wanted to confront Paterno, they didn't need to call Penn State. His home telephone number was always listed in the local phone book.

The failure of Ganim to fact check the 1971 story became obvious when the story alleged that Paterno didn't believe Victim A because of all the good things Jerry Sandusky did for the community.

Sandusky did not start The Second Mile charity until 1977 and had no track record of good works up to that point.

This story had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese, but Ganim went forward with it and CNN published it and is standing by it.  Moreover, CNN and Ganim seemingly couldn't have cared less regarding Victim A's molestation by a priest.   This was another example of Ganim's pattern of putting the emphasis of her writing on demeaning Penn State officials instead of on the safety and welfare of children.

However, the death blow to this story was when Ganim eventually revealed the corroborating source of Victim A's allegations was (very recently deceased) State College resident, Bernie McCue.

McCue was a well known Paterno hater who was featured in the movie, Happy Valley, as he conducted a one man protest at the Paterno statue. McCue spent much of his time scribbling vulgar, derogatory messages in newspapers and magazines with his red pen, then leaving them in public places for people to discover.  

It was clear to anyone with a functioning brain that McCue was a biased source at best and a very unreliable one at that.

And so was/is Mike McQueary.

But unreliable sources -- and the facts -- seemingly don't matter to Ganim.

Ganim's implication that McQueary's abuse claim was significant in the prosecution of ten boys was flatly refuted by the Moulton Report.  From the column:

McQueary's claim of abuse and other allegations led to Sandusky's conviction in 2012 for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, including three victims after the 2001 locker room incident. 

While the Moulton Report confirmed that McQueary's report was important in restarting the investigation, the report concluded key evidence leading to the eventual arrest and conviction of Sandusky was the 1998 police report.   That report, allegedly obtained by the state police in January 2011, led to the identification of Victims 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Interestingly, the police never identified a victim in the McQueary incident, most likely because no victim has corroborated McQueary's account of slapping noises coming from the shower followed by a face-to-face encounter -- that he alleged happened on February 9, 2011.

The only thing remotely accurate about Ganim's recent story was that the details of McQueary's discussion with Paterno in 2001 still remain a matter of debate -- and for good reason.

They've never been corroborated by anyone in an actual court case.

"Jerry doesn't like girls"

Ganim has pushed the Penn State cover up narrative all along -- no matter how ridiculous the scenarios.

In Saturday's story, she provided yet another incredible scenario in which Paterno confided to McQueary that Dottie Sandusky told his wife, Sue, that Jerry doesn't like girls.

"The police report also notes, again according to McQueary, that Paterno told the young assistant that his wife, Sue Paterno, once had told the head coach that Sandusky's wife, Dottie Sandusky, "told her Jerry doesn't like girls."
Attorneys for the Paterno family and for Dottie Sandusky did not respond to CNN's requests for comment."

A legal representative of the Paterno family categorically denied today that "Sue and Dottie ever had that conversation."

Dottie Sandusky also rejected the hearsay account given by McQueary.  She wrote:

"I never said that.  Jer helped lots of girls - fact is two testified at trial."

It is simply not believable that Dottie Sandusky would imply that her husband was a homosexual or a preferential sexual child molester to the wife of his former employer.

It also strains credulity that Joe Paterno, who told McQueary on that February 2001 Saturday morning that he wouldn't even consider talking to him about a full time assistant coaching job, would then turn around and  disclose information of a personal nature about a former employee (to a non-employee).

In summary, this whole story is so incredible that it seems that the entire thing has been fabricated.

And maybe it was....

Mistake or Fabrication?
One of the most interesting aspects about the Sandusky criminal case is that the key witness, McQueary, did not get the year of the incident correct when he first reported it to the police.

If this was as traumatic an incident as McQueary alleged (recall that he was visibly shaken) then there is very little chance that he could not have remembered the year (according to research on trauma and memory).

In what can only be described as an extreme case of irony, analysis reveals that Ganim, whose reporting is shoddy at best, may have confused the year of the newly discovered police report.

"McQueary's police interview was conducted by a state trooper on November 23, 2011, just two weeks after Sandusky's arrest. It followed up on an earlier interview and focused on McQueary's conversation with Joe Paterno on that Saturday morning in 2001. The trooper could not be reached for comment."

More importantly....

"McQueary never testified publicly about the police report or the new details it reveals. The report was written days after Sandusky's arrest in 2011, soon after the 2001 allegation first came to the attention of police."

According to the Moulton Report (see below), McQueary originally contacted police about the 2001 incident on November 10, 2010 and the police interviewed him on November 22, 2010.   Sandusky was arrested on November 5, 2011.

 As is often the case, police reports may not be written until a day or two after an investigative event occurs.  The 1998 investigation, which was the focus of Ganim's recent allegations that Paterno may have known of earlier sexual abuse by Sandusky, closed on June 1, 1998 but the report was not finalized until June 3rd.

The November 22, 2010 interview with McQueary was not documented in a police report until November 23, 2010.

Ganim later wrote, ironically under the subheading "Degrees of Detail," that the police interview with McQueary occurred on November 23, 2011 -- one year to the day later.

Coincidence?  Or a mistake?

It's easy to get years mixed up, especially just as the calendar turns over.

Pennsylvania state trooper Scott Rossman worked the Jerry Sandusky case from 2009 through Sandusky's arrest in 2011.  His signature appears at the bottom of the two page 2010 report.  As you will read, this report contains none of the sensational allegations that appeared in Ganim's column.

Time for Sara Ganim to put forth some reality instead of putting forth fantasies.

If she and CNN have a police report from November 23, 2011, then  let's see it.

Friday, July 14

Bagwell Docs Confirm 2nd Mile Deceptions

Documents confirm The Second Mile leaders lied to members and kept them – and the public -- in the dark about Sandusky’s abuse allegations.

Ray Blehar

July 14, 2017, 9:01 AM EDT. Updated 12:42 PM on July 14, 2017.

A limited and heavily redacted trove of documents obtained by PSU alumnus Ryan Bagwell confirmed  that leaders of The Second Mile (TSM) charity kept board members and others in the dark about Jerry Sandusky.

Bagwell’s documents, obtained via FOIA requests of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), include interviews with two apparent PSU employees and six other individuals associated with TSM.   Two of the TSM interviews are so heavily redacted that they are unintelligible.   As a result, there are four usable interviews from TSM associated persons

Those interviews confirm that TSM’s leadership:

- Did not disclose the 2008 allegations were sexual in nature;

- Stated that the 2008 allegation did not involve a TSM child;

- Did not disclose the 2001 abuse allegations about Sandusky until after the November presentment was released;

- Deceived members about Sandusky’s post-2009 role at the charity; and

- Endangered the welfare of children – a criminal offense.

Not Sexual In Nature
The charity told three of the four individuals that the 2008 allegations were not sexual in nature and that it involved a complaint from a disgruntled mother and/or disgruntled child.

According to the Sandusky trial transcripts, the 2008 accuser, Aaron Fisher, initially reported on November 20, 2008, that he had been in bed with Sandusky on numerous occasions and had (sexual) contact over clothes for a three year period.  This information was documented in Clinton County CYS’s intake report.  CYS caseworker Jessica Dershem confirmed, at the trial, that Fisher estimated 30 incidents of contact over clothing at various hotels.

According to the Moulton Report, on November 20, 2008, Clinton County Children and Youth Services Director, Gerald Rosamilia contacted TSM to inform it of sexual abuse allegations against a charity member.   Then TSM Vice-President for Development, Katherine Genovese, correctly guessed it was Sandusky.    According to various press reports, Genovese related that the charity had to tell him to “back off certain kids before” and that he had gotten “too close” to children.

Based on the evidence, it is clear that charity leaders were dishonest about the sexual nature of the 2008 allegation against Sandusky.

Not A TSM Child
Universally, the interviewees associated with TSM stated charity officials denied that a TSM child was involved in the 2008 allegations against Sandusky.

Obviously, that was a lie. 

Aaron Fisher, the victim who reported Sandusky in 2008 had been a member of TSM since he was 8.   Around the time of Fisher’s abuse report, Sandusky had been haranguing him about helping with TSM’s golf tournament.

TSM issued a public statement in March and Dr. Jack Raykovitz penned an op-ed in April 2011 that led the public to believe that the Sandusky investigation did not involve the charity or its programs and that there had never been any prior abuse allegations.

 Raykovitz penned an  Op-Ed regarding TSM's non-involvement in Sandusky matter.

2001 Allegations

Three of the four individuals remarked that they were “shocked” and/or “surprised” to learn of the 1998 and 2001 allegations against Sandusky when the various news stories broke.

In April 2011, after the Patriot News broke the story of the Sandusky grand jury,
charity leaders told the other board members that the grand jury investigation would be discussed privately and communicated later.  

When the grand jury presentment was leaked, causing a media firestorm, the interviewees mentioned being shocked to learn about the 2001 incident.   One of the interviewees added that at the November 13, 2011 board meeting, 4 or 5 board members were angry that they weren’t notified contemporaneously.

Another interviewee, who understood the expungement requirements for unfounded child abuse reports, added that “all of this could have been avoided” if the 1998 and 2001 incidents were reported – presumably to the TSM Board of Directors.

Sandusky’s Resignation and Retirement

Three of the four also had conflicting information regarding Sandusky’s role with the charity after 2009. 

One interviewee recalled attending the fall of 2009 meeting when Sandusky announced he was resigning due to “family matters.”  However, two of the others believed that Sandusky was part of the charity until he “retired” in 2010.

IRS records reveal that the charity last paid Sandusky for his “consulting” work for the year ending August 31, 2008 and that he was no longer listed as a director for the year ending August 31, 2009.  He was not paid or listed as a director after the year ending August 31, 2009. 

When Sandusky “retired” in 2010, the publicity surrounding the news was that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

From the September 17, 2010, Altoona Mirror:

In a letter addressed to friends of the organization, Sandusky said he is retiring from his day-to-day involvement from the organization he founded in 1977 to help Pennsylvania children develop self-esteem and reach their full potential.
Sandusky said he was doing so "to devote more time to my family and personal matters."

Sandusky’s 2010 retirement came as a surprise to two interviewees.

Endangering Children

While Sandusky was an unpaid volunteer starting in 2009, the charity kept his status under wraps and let the public, donors, employees, and some board members continue to believe that he was fully part of the charity.  One interviewee recalled the first he was informed of Sandusky’s abuse allegations was when he learned that Sandusky lost his ChildLine clearance in late 2009 – after he dropped his appeal.

At that point, Sandusky should have been excluded from all charity activities and not allowed any contact with children.

The interviewee also recalled Sandusky’s fall 2009 resignation and that the argument surrounding Sandusky’s status with the charity was “heated.”  Some argued that all ties should be severed, while others recommended Sandusky be kept on for fundraising purposes.

The “executive committee” of TSM recommended communicating the abuse allegations against Sandusky to the regional offices in order to “protect the kids,” but according to the interviewee, the TSM State Board of Directors quashed the idea

Note that in November 2009, The State Board of Directors included Senator Jake Corman, former PSU Board of Trustees member and fundraising expert, Cliff Benson, Bruce Heim, Robert Poole, and Dr. Jack Raykovitz (who all knew of the 2001 allegations), and several other big corporate donors.

One of the corporate donors, Louie Sheetz, stated:

"I know the people who run the golf outing said, 'He's a big reason why people come -- to see him.' That makes sense, in my opinion. That's not involved in programming,"

As reported by on May 31, 2017, Sandusky continued to contact children after the 2009 decision that he would exclusively be a fundraiser and not be involved in programming. 

In summary, the evidence reveals a course of conduct – a felony -- by charity officials’ decisions in 2001 and 2009 to allow Sandusky’s continued access to children.

Why the USDOJ in Harrisburg decided not to prosecute the charity for Endangering the Welfare of Children remains unknown, however it appears that Pennsylvania politics played into that decision.

Friday, July 7

NCAA Statement Ignores Evidence -- Again

The NCAA's statement claiming "total victory" in the Paterno lawsuit is delusional and not supported by the evidence on the public record.

Ray Blehar

July 7, 2017, 8:27 AM EST

On June 30, 2017, the NCAA released a statement that boasted “total victory” based on the Paterno, Et Al decision to withdraw from its civil lawsuit and for not taking the case to trial.

It also alleged that the “powerful record developed through discovery” supported its decision to adopt the key findings of the Freeh Report to sanction Penn State University Athletics and former head coach Joe Paterno.  

“The Paterno family characterized this case as a ‘search for the truth,’” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer. “Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling.  We believe that the powerful record developed during discovery overwhelmingly confirmed what the NCAA has believed all along: the NCAA acted reasonably in adopting the conclusions of an eight-month investigation by Louis Freeh.”

Remy noted the timing of today’s decision by the Paterno family to voluntarily abandon its lawsuit was only hours before the NCAA was due to file a roughly 100-page summary judgment brief detailing the results of years of exhaustive discovery regarding plaintiffs’ claims. He added the decision “represents a total victory for the NCAA.”

The Paterno’s lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the NCAA Consent Decree was imposed unlawfully and that the language used in it was false and defamatory.

In response to the NCAA’s statement, Sue Paterno called the NCAA’s assertions “absurd” and noted that it is the NCAA who is insistent on keeping the full facts of the case from becoming a matter of public record. She challenged the NCAA to make discovery available for public inspection.

History and all of the evidence remain firmly behind Sue Paterno.

Corman Thwarted NCAA Efforts to Hide the Truth

Prior to the 2015 settlement in the Corman/McCord case, the NCAA attempted to hide behind claims of attorney-client privilege in order to avoid turning over critical documents in discovery.  

Corman and McCord thwarted the NCAA’s efforts by including alleged privileged documents as exhibits in their November and December 2014 court filings.  Those exhibits exposed critical facts about the NCAA’s motivations and questionable actions in sanctioning the University, including its knowledge that there were no rules violations within the statute of limitations for an enforcement action.  

Without a legal leg to stand on, the NCAA decided to circumvent the traditional enforcement process in order to take action against PSU.  

Evidence revealed that these questionable acts came as a result of the NCAA’s desire to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the Freeh Report in an attempt to change its reputation as a weak enforcer. 

NCAA Director of Committee on Infractions Shep Cooper wrote in a July 4, 2012 email:

“…However, the new NCAA leadership is very image conscience and if they conclude that pursuing allegations against PSU would enhance the Association’s standing with the public, then an infractions case could follow. I know that Mark Emmert has made statements to the press indicating that he thinks it could fall into some sort of LOIC case. ‘Shooting road kill’ is an apt analogy.’
Documents Proved Freeh Report Did Not Establish LOIC

Many of the 4,900 documents released by Corman proved that the NCAA knew that the Freeh Report, which did not make any references to NCAA rules violations, was insufficient for its purposes of taking enforcement action against PSU.

Emails between Remy and Freeh Group revealed that NCAA President Mark Emmert wanted the Freeh group to make an additional statement to include the language of “lack of institutional control” in discussing the findings.   The Freeh Group refused, stating it was not part of their contractual arrangement (with PSU) to do so.

As a result, the NCAA charged PSU with a “lack of institutional integrity” – a term not defined anywhere in the NCAA Charter and By-Laws.  

The NCAA moved to dismiss the Corman case in October 2014, but Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey ruled the case would go to trial and that the legality of the consent decree – and by extension, use of the Freeh Report -- would be part of the case.

With the evidence on the public record heavily against them and knowing that a court case on the legality of the consent decree would be disastrous, the NCAA settled the case.

Corman:  “The NCAA has surrendered”

As a result of the settlement, the NCAA repealed and replaced the NCAA Consent Decree, restructured $60 million in fines, and restored 112 wins to the PSU football program, including 111 belonging to legendary coach Joe Paterno.  The restoration of wins put Paterno back at the top in terms of Division I (FBS) winning coaches.

Corman stated:

“Today is a victory for due process. Today is a victory for the people of Pennsylvania. Today is a victory for Penn State Nation.  The NCAA has surrendered. This is a total repeal of the consent decree, not a settlement. This is akin to the mercy rule. Clearly [the NCAA] was way behind in the case and they gave up.”

Legal System Proved NCAA Was Wrong to Use The Freeh Report

Even before the Freeh Report (and NCAA Consent Decree) had seen the light of day, the conclusions being drawn were not supported by the evidence.

A Freeh Report finding, quoted in the consent decree, falsely stated “the environment at Penn State, shaped by actions and the inactions of the leadership and board of Penn State allowed Sandusky’s serial sexual abuse of children.”   

The facts established during the Sandusky investigation and trial clearly proved that Sandusky’s serial victimization of children began before anyone at PSU was notified about allegations of inappropriate behavior in 1998.  

Prior to 1998, and unbeknownst to PSU officials, Sandusky was victimizing children on the PSU campus and elsewhere by virtue to his role as a mentor at The Second Mile.  His continued access to children after 1998 was also outside the control of PSU officials because child welfare agents (in 1998) concluded that he was not a danger to children and did not revoke his ChildLine clearance.  

The Sandusky trial did not confirm or provide evidence that PSU leaders had any knowledge of sexual abuse by Sandusky in 2001 or thereafter (until the news of the Sandusky grand jury investigation was broken).  As such, Freeh’s conclusion that PSU officials somehow “allowed” serial sexual abuse was false and defamatory and the legal folks at the NCAA knew or should have known that.

The March 2017 trial of Graham Spanier also refuted the Freeh Report’s conclusion that Spanier “did not advise the Board of Trustees about the 1998 and 2001 child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky.”   

Although PSU officials Gary Schultz and Tim Curley pleaded to misdemeanor counts of endangering children, neither Schultz nor Curley testified to being informed of sexual abuse allegations in 1998 and 2001.  Moreover, they testified that they told Spanier that the 2001 incident involved only horseplay.   Because there was no evidence that Spanier was ever told about sexual abuse allegations in 1998 and 2001, he could not have advised the Board about them.

Finally, no testimony or evidence was ever brought forward in any proceeding to support the Freeh Report’s and NCAA Consent Decree’s assertion that PSU official’s actions were influenced or motivated by the fear of the “consequences of bad publicity.”

In conclusion, the evidence is overwhelming that the Freeh Report’s key conclusions used to penalize PSU Athletics were premature, based on scant evidence, and wrong.

But when did evidence ever matter to the NCAA?

Monday, June 26

CNN Must Also Retract 1971 Paterno Story

Sara Ganim's incredulous report about a 1971 report to Paterno by an alleged Sandusky victim fails to meet journalism standards

Ray Blehar

June 26, 2017:  10:15AM EDT, Revised 1:14 PM

Recently, CNN retracted and removed all links to a political story because the story failed to meet its editorial standards.   It needs to do the same for its May 6, 2016 story about an alleged Sandusky victim who allegedly made a 1971 report to then Penn State University (PSU) football coach, Joe Paterno.

CNN's 1971 story was authored by Sara Ganim, who received a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting about the Jerry Sandusky scandal.  As such, Ganim knew or should have known that the victim's allegations did not comport with Sandusky's modus operandi as an acquaintance offender.    

Unreliable Corroborating Source
Ganim's history as a PSU student and as a crime and courts reporter at the Centre Daily Times also adds to the lack of journalistic integrity because she knew or should have known the story's corroborating source, Bernie McCue, was known for erratic behavior, despised Joe Paterno, and was otherwise unreliable. 

Unreliable source:  Ganim used a well-known Paterno hater to corroborate the 1971 story.

To make matters worse, Ganim chose McCue's corroborating account over a Pennsylvania State Trooper who was also a friend of the alleged victim -- and did not find his friend’s story to be credible.

Although Ganim won a Pulitzer Prize for her Sandusky coverage, it was for local – not investigative – reporting.   Evaluations conducted by found  numerous errors, half-truths, and omissions the ten stories that were submitted to the Pulitzer committee.

Her 1971 story was no different.

Wrong from the Start
An honest fact-check of the story would have found almost none of it to be true, starting with Ganim’s assertion that the alleged victim was the oldest known victim.  

“But for many of the victims, it's not ambiguous. Like for Victim A, a 60-year-old State College native and Sandusky's oldest known victim.”

Just as many local news reports on the public record revealed that Ganim consistently erred in stating that The Second Mile separated Jerry from all programs involving children after his 2009 abuse finding, a KDKA Pittsburgh report from October 2012  revealed that a then 57-year-old was abused by Sandusky over 40 years ago.  That man would be at least 60 or 61 at the time Ganim penned her story.

Allegations Do Not Fit Sandusky’s Modus Operandi
More significantly, however, is that the KDKA report confirmed Sandusky was operating as an acquaintance offender dating back to his time at the Brownson House in his hometown of Washington, Pennsylvania. The then 57-year-old man was one of three men Sandusky victimized there.  

Sandusky's acquaintance offending likely began in his teen years at the Brownson House

This story and the facts established at the Sandusky trial refuted a key point of Ganim’s story that Sandusky offended against a hitch-hiker (i.e., stranger).

All of Sandusky’s victims from the trial came as a result of Sandusky’s relationship with them through his charity.   Ganim, who covered the trial, obviously had to recognize that Victim A’s allegations did not fit Sandusky’s pattern of victimizing children he had befriended.

Next, none of Sandusky’s victims from the trial alleged that he provided them with drugs or alcohol.  Ganim's Victim A alleged that Sandusky bought him beer and gave him pot before physically assaulting him.  He was also considered a straight-arrow growing up as a teen and in college.  He wasn't known to attend fraternity parties.  In fact, Sandusky was well known as a church-going, teetotaler.  

Last but not least, no known victim or claimant – other than Victim A – alleged that Sandusky physically assaulted them before forcibly raping them.   Again, this conduct would be far outside the realm for an acquaintance/serial offender whose success relies upon gaining the trust of the victim – who will remain silent about the victimization.

Too Good To Fact Check
CNN’s story goes even further into the realm of the incredible after the alleged rape took place.

In a series of events only the extremely gullible could believe, Victim A’s injuries are noticed by his foster mother at breakfast the next morning.  After some prodding, the alleged victim tells his foster mother what happened.   Next, the foster mother and her husband – against Victim A’s wishes– inform the young man that they are going to report the incident to PSU officials, adding that nothing will happen because PSU won’t call the police.

Any reasonable person would find this story to be highly unlikely and question why the parents didn’t go directly to police to report the assault and rape of a foster child.  Moreover, a reasonable person would question the fitness of these individuals as foster parents and ask questions about them.   

But Ganim isn't a reasonable person.  She needed the story to be singularly focused on Paterno.

Not only do the guardians of the young man then follow through on their call PSU, but they insist that the 15-year old boy tell his story to none other than Joe Paterno.  

Like the questionable account of Mike McQueary, Victim A stated he did not tell Paterno he was raped, but that he made it very clear “it was a sexual attack.”

Paterno’s Response:  Ganim and CNN Fail History
The credibility of the story completely failed when Victim A recalled Paterno’s handling of his report (emphasis added).

"I made it clear there were things done to me that I just can't believe could have been done to me and I couldn't escape. I said, 'I'm very upset and scared and I couldn't believe I let my guard down.' They listened to me. And then all hell broke loose.

"They were asking me my motive, why I would say this about someone who has done so many good things."

Jerry Sandusky did not establish The Second Mile until 1977.   He had no track record of good deeds that would have prompted such a response from Paterno.

In 1971, Jerry Sandusky had been on the PSU coaching staff for just two years and had just begun coaching linebackers, having switched from defensive line coach. At that point in his tenure, he was not an indispensable part of the staff.   Sandusky was, in fact, replacing somewhat of a coaching legend – Dan “Bad Rad” Radakovich, who left PSU for the Steelers.

There was nothing in 1971 that would have stopped Paterno from doing exactly what he did in 2001 – which was to take the report seriously and forward it to his superiors.

CNN Must Retract Story
Much like Sabrina Erdley's now infamous Rolling Stone story of an alleged a gang rape of "Jackie" by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia (UVa), the evidence shows that CNN's desire to write a sensational story led them to a fatal flaw of journalism in writing a story that was "too good to check."

The Rolling Stone story was criticized by UVa's President because it damaged serious efforts to combat sexual violence on campus.  Similarly, CNN's story did nothing to combat sexual violence against children and, as history shows neither CNN nor Ganim pursued investigating Victim A's claim of molestation by a priest.   

This story was nothing but a smear and a desperate attempt by Sara Ganim to become relevant again.

As such, the 1971 story about Paterno must also be retracted.

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