Board of Trustee Election Starts Today!!!! Vote!!


Voting begins today in the contentious election for three alumni seats on Penn State’s Board of Trustees. The trustees race once generated little interest in the general public, let alone the 560,000 Penn State alumni across the country. But that changed last year following scrutiny on the actions of university leaders in the aftermath of retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011 on child sex abuse charges. Any of the university’s 560,000 alumni can vote, though they must first contact the Board of Trustees office. Voters can cast ballots online or through the mail. Voting ends May 2, with results to be announced the following day at the trustees meeting

If you did not get your ballot, be sure to contact the alumni office!!!!!

I recommend you Vote for Scott Kimler!!!!!!!

Excerpts from Clemente Report–A Must Read


Excerpt from Clemente Section of Paterno Report:

I have no interest in or connection with Penn State football, I had no personal or professional interaction with Joe Paterno, and I have not followed his career in any way or seen any game that he coached.  I do not follow college or professional football. Though I am being paid for my time to research and write this report, I have maintained independence while conducting my review of the Freeh investigation and supplementing it with my own investigation.

After reading the Freeh report in its entirety, I now know that  the Freeh investigation made a number of errors, including its failure to properly consider the behavioral dynamics of the offender, the victims, and witnesses within the context of acquaintance child sexual victimization.

Investigating this type of crime is markedly counter-intuitive and investigators and the public need to have a deep understanding of these behavioral dynamics before they can understand and properly interpret the information and behavior presented in this case. It is precisely because this information is not within the general knowledge of the average person/juror, that local, state, and federal courts admit the testimony of expert witnesses, like myself, to explain to jurors the complicated behavioral dynamics of “preferential child sex offenders,” “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders, “grooming,” and “compliant victimization.” In fact, the SIC report does not once mention “preferential child sex offenders,” “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders, or “compliant victimization,” and uses the term “grooming” only once without applying this critical behavioral reality to their analysis. By not factoring in thesedynamics, the Freeh report got it wrong.

While I authored this report at the behest of the representatives of the Paterno family, it is not just about Joe Paterno. This report is about finding the truth and educating the public about acquaintance child sexual victimization in the real world. This report does not take the focus away from the victims; it restores that focus. As an expert in this field, and as a former victim, I can attest that one of the worst things professionals, the media, and the public can do in the aftermath of the discovery of nice-guy offenders, like Sandusky, is to perpetuate the myth that his victims must have been frightened, threatened, or physically forced into sexual behavior with him.This practice, though well-meaning, hurts those children who became compliant intheir victimizationbecause this type of offender actually takes the opposite approach and treatsthem well, is kind to them, pays attention to them, shows them affection, makes them feel special, and/or gives them gifts.   Another hurtful practice is talking about how horrendous,horrific, or life-changing these crimes were to the victims. The more we amplify what happened  to the victims with emotional rhetoric, the more they and other victims in the general public feel  damaged by what they have endured. They feel a sense of futility about ever being whole again.  They feel the obstacles to leading happy and healthy lives are insurmountable. And most  unfortunately, as a result of both of these practices, they and other victims are less likely to come forward.

The sad truth is that as you read this analysis, there are thousands of   acquaintance  offenders similar to Sandusky sexually victimizing children in communities across this country.  These “nice-guy” offenders are getting away with it because they appear to be good people who  genuinely care about children. These “nice-guy” offenders escape detection even by those who  are vigilant because they are on the look out for evil predators, not pillars of the community.  Unless everyone in the public takes on the responsibility to educate themselves about the  dynamics of acquaintance child sexual victimization, “nice-guy” offenders will continue  victimizing children undetected and undeterred. For that reason, paying attention to the details of  this analysis, sharing its contents with everyone you know, engaging in an age-appropriate open  dialogue with children, however difficult, and investigating those who exhibit red flag warning  signs, will go a long way towards eliminating this type of offending behavior.

Sandusky is a textbook preferential child sex offender, as well as being a textbook example of a “nice-guy” offender. However, I would put him in the top one percent of effective groomers in this country. This is based on the fact thathe was so bold in his high-profile “altruistic” public persona, he founded a youth serving organization, and he was caught in the act — though cleared at the time — of what turned out to be grooming and sexually assaulting children in the showers in 1998, yet he still did the samething in the same place again in 2001.  Sandusky was able to deceive his way out of it. He built his reputation both professionally and interpersonally over many years of hard work and sacrifice. Drive, determination, selflessness, and altruism were his calling cards. He motivated others to give millions to needy children at The Second Mile. Sandusky was lauded and celebrated for his work. He effectively groomed most of the people who came in contact with him, including child care experts, psychologists, professionals, celebrities, athletes, coaches, friends, and family. And most notably, he was approved numerous times over thirty years as both a foster parent and an adoptive parent by child care professionals.

The victims love the offender for the things he has done for them. On the other hand, they hate the offender for the things he has done to them. That’s why the boy in the shower in 2001 kept silent even though McQueary witnessed him being groomed and assaulted by Sandusky. That’s why the nine other victims who testified, or were testified about in Sandusky’s trial, never made an immediate outcry. Even when investigators first came to some of these boys and asked them direct questions, most of them remained silent or denied anything sexual occurred. They claimed that they had not been victimized, when in fact they had.  Eventually, most of them made partial or incremental disclosures, and then over time gave a full account of their victimization. It’s called the “conspiracy of silence” that surrounds child sexual victimization. It is the opposite of an “active agreement to conceal.”

The combination of nice-guy acquaintance offending, coupled with the “conspiracy of silence” by victims and “compliant victimization,” is why Paterno did not know that Sandusky was really a child molester. It is why the entire State College community did not know. One astute mother, however, saw a behavioral change in her son and recognized it as a possible sign of victimization and reported Sandusky in 1998. She might have initially bought into Sandusky’s grooming, giving him access to her child hoping the relationship would help her son have a better life. But the behavioral changes her son exhibited after spending an evening with Sandusky triggered her intuition and she fought for her son’s protection. She is a hero. Unfortunately, the system failed her, and her son. We all want to search for the culprit who caused the system to fail. In my professional opinion, the culprit is ignorance of “nice-guy”offending.

One psychologist, trained in the art of deciphering offender behavior, Alycia Chambers,evaluated the boy, saw and recognized all the red flags presented by Sandusky’s behavior, but her report apparently did not receive the attention it deserved. Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) referred the case to counselor John Seasock, 20 who, without reading Chamber’s report, evaluated the boy for one hour and then wrote a report concluding nothing improper took place.That is why no one at Penn State did anything to sanction Sandusky. The UniversityPolice Department, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), and the District Attorney all closed their cases based in large part on Seasock’s report. For those who worked closely with Sandusky and knew about the 1998 incident, the closing of this investigation as unfounded was confirmation of Sandusky’s outstanding reputation and their belief that he was a devoted advocate for children.

Though a trained child sex crimes investigator should have known to keep a close watch on Sandusky from that point forward, civilians generally revert back to the thousands of positive interactions they have had with him and validate the belief in their own minds that they knew Sandusky couldn’t have been a “monster predator.” If he had been, they tell themselves, they would have known. They would have been able to tell the difference between that kind of evil person and the affable Sandusky they knew, whom they viewed as a dedicated husband and father, who fostered and adopted dozens of children, an altruist, who founded a children’s charity, and a professional, who worked for decades as assistant football coach of one of the most successful college teams in the country.

Because of the private and one-on-one nature of the vast majority of child sex crimes, adult offenders know that in most circumstances, if the child makes an allegation against them, they have a higher likelihood of being believed than a troubled youth. And, as the inaction by McQueary and the janitor exhibit, even if adults witness this behavior, they are reticent to get involved or make a detailed report because it is just too difficult to comprehend or believe or talk about what they witnessed. As I will develop in much greater detail below, these complicated dynamics, which so few people understand (and most find completely counter-intuitive) explain why McQueary behaved as he did. They explain why he did not rescue the boy in 2001, and instead, left the scene as quickly as possible. They explain why McQueary had such difficulty recounting what he saw to his father and Dr. Dranov, and even more difficulty speaking about it to Paterno. McQueary likely was relieved when Curley and Schultz did not ask him detailed questions about what he had witnessed. At the time, he was not certain of what he saw because it was so abjectly counter to what he knew about Sandusky and how he expected a child victim to behave. They also explain why McQueary gave Paterno such a watered down and, ultimately, unhelpful version of events.

These complicated dynamics explain why Paterno did not conclude that Sandusky was a child molester, and why Paterno did what he did and nothing more. Paterno did not witness a child being sexually assaulted. Paterno did not have the opportunity that McQueary had to rescue that child while he was being sexually assaulted. Paterno did not have the opportunity to catch Sandusky in the act and restrain him while calling the police. As I’ll discuss in more detail below, Paterno only heard the sketchiest version of what happened from a confused, embarrassed, and reticent McQueary. Paterno could not read McQueary’s mind. He did not know what McQueary actually witnessed, but sensing that McQueary was having so much trouble talking about it and wanting to minimize his distress, Paterno told McQueary that he did not have to speak the details to Paterno, that he did the right thing coming to Paterno, and that Paterno would find the right people for McQueary to report it. Paterno was not an investigator. Paterno had no authority over Sandusky, who had retired two years earlier. Paterno ran into Sandusky infrequently and did not socialize with him. Paterno did his best to address the situation by informing the people at the university who were in a position to deal with Sandusky, and, in fact, who had dealt with Sandusky’s retirement and continued to deal with Sandusky about administrative details.

As it relates to Paterno, there is very little to be said about the 1998 incident.  As far as Paterno knew, if he knew anything, it was fully investigated and Sandusky was fully cleared. Had Paterno or anyone else taken any action against Sandusky, as far as they knew, they would be exposing themselves and the university to a lawsuit from Sandusky. Nonetheless, I will discuss the 1998 incident in some detail for two reasons. First, if Paterno did know about the 1998 incident and the fact that Sandusky was investigated and cleared, this likely would have affected Paterno’s understanding of the 2001 incident. Upon hearing the report from McQueary, Paterno could have reasonably believed that Sandusky was simply horsing around with the boy — just like he was determined to have been doing in 1998 — despite the fact that McQueary perceived it as “over the line.”

The allegations of sexual misconduct were fully investigated by the University Police and Public Safety (“University Police Department” or “UPD”), DPW, CYS, and the District Attorney’s Office. The “victim” and Sandusky were repeatedly interviewed at the time and it was determined that Sandusky had no sexual intent and did not commit any crimes. The investigators had evenidentified another boy who recounted virtually the same story as the first boy and they still did not find sexual or criminal intent.Thus, even if the 1998 accusations had been communicated to Paterno, there would simply have been no way for Paterno to know that Sandusky was actually sexually attracted to boys and that he had been sexually victimizing a number of them in secrecy for years. Following the closing of this investigation, UPD Detective Schreffler instructed Sandusky not to shower again with any child.This explicit advice coming from the law enforcement body responsible for policing Penn State — and not simply the head coach —should have put Sandusky on notice that his actions were being scrutinized and dissuaded him from showering with any more boys at Penn State or anywhere else. UPD apparently did nothing else with respect to Sandusky beyond issuing this “advice the members of this approximately 50-man police department were bettertrained in the area of sex crimes and investigations than Paterno. Certainly UPD had the ultimate responsibility to police and secure all facilities on Penn State’s campus. And certainly, UPD had the ultimate responsibility to protect all persons, including children who were guests on campus. Paterno is blamed by the SIC for not instituting his own prevention program, when the very police agency that was charged with conducting, and actually conducted, the 1998 investigation, did absolutely nothing to investigate Sandusky further, to prevent him from bringing children into the showers, or to inform university staff and students about the allegations against Sandusky. That’s because Sandusky was cleared.

Paterno didn’t know about or have access to the 98-page report that the UPD had compiled on the 1998 incident. Paterno didn’t have a team of detectives who presumably were trained to recognize sex offender behavior. Paterno’s profession had nothing at all to do with children, or sex offenders, or investigations, or recognizing the red flags of child sexual victimization. It is incorrect to assert that Paterno, even as head coach and football icon, was in abetter position to keep an investigative eye on Sandusky and prevent him from offending on campus than was the UPD.

The UPD, DPW, CYS, and the DA’s office also should be accused of “callous and shocking” “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,”or the accusations against Paterno related to the 1998 incident are biased and wrong.

The entire case against Paterno regarding the 2001 Sandusky shower incident hinges on the words of Mike McQueary. Paterno was not an eyewitness. His only basis of knowledge about what Sandusky did in the shower with a boy in February 2001 was the words McQueary chose to tell Paterno at that time. Clearly, those were not the detailed and explicit words McQueary used a decade later when talking to investigators and during his testimony.  What is most critical in analyzing Paterno’s subsequent behavior is what McQueary actually communicated to Paterno during that five to ten minute conversation on the morning of Saturday, February 10, 2001. There are no contemporaneous recordings, notes, or confirmatory emails from this meeting, and the documentation that was made closest in time to the actual events was a statement made by McQueary to attorney general investigators, Trooper Rossman and Agent Sassano, almost a decade later on November 22, 2010. Because of the lapse of time between the actual conversation and the documentation thereof, the probability that particular details of this conversation are reliably recalled from memory is very low.

When a layman, like Paterno, hears ambiguous information about an incident that might involve male on male child sexual victimization and “considers” but rejects the possibility of it actually being true, it does not mean that it is an act of deliberate or willful denial or an attempt to conceal. This is especially true when the accused “offender” does not act like a heinous criminal and the alleged “victims” don’t act like he did anything wrong to them at all. What is actually going on with the untrained layman is a common and fundamental misunderstanding of offender and victim behavior and honest disbelief.

We know the following: McQueary walked into the coaches’ locker room between 9:30 and 10:00 on a Friday night. After McQueary passed through the first of two privacy doors to the locker room, he heard the showers running. He then heard what he has variously described as “two or three” “slapping noises,”36 “smackingsounds,”and “rhythmic slapping sounds”38 over the course of a second or two. In McQueary’s words, he “immediately became alerted and kind of — I don’t know — embarrassed that I was walking in on something that I didn’t want to see or walk in on.” At that moment McQueary “thought maybe one of the other people had someone with him in the showers.”McQueary got to his locker and glanced over his right shoulder and, using the reflection of a mirror, looked into the shower.  His first glance lasted one to two seconds. In McQueary’s words, “I immediately turned back to my locker, trying to digest what I just saw and making sure I saw what I just saw. . . . I thought maybe I wasn’t seeing what I was seeing.” McQueary then stepped to the side and looked directly into the shower.According to his testimony, McQueary saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy. Taking into account all of McQueary’s testimony, that’s all the detail he has given about what he actually saw as opposed to what he thought was happening or what he thought he heard, or what he told Paterno. McQueary also testified to what he did not see or hear. He did not see the front of Sandusky or the boy until the two of them were standing three to five feet apart and were facing him. He did not see any genitalia, erection, or insertion. He did not see any fondling. He did not see any sex act. He did not hear any “protests or any verbiage.” McQueary says he was “extremely alarmed, extremely flustered, extremely shocked, all of those things.”He went back to his locker and “tried to think . . . I accentuate the word ‘try.’”McQueary explained, “this is a Penn State football building . . . you don’t register that. .. . I’m used to pressure situations, and I can tell you that’s — that’s more than my brain could handle at that time.” McQueary was so overwhelmed that he described what he had seen as “ridiculous” as opposed to criminal.

Some believe that he wanted to save the name of Penn State football and so he decided to forget what he saw and walk away rather than to act to save the boy or restrain Sandusky. However, if this were true, he would not have attempted to tell five other people about what he saw and he would not have been so upset while he was trying to do so.  In my experience the reasonable conclusion is that he was so overwhelmed by what he saw that he was paralyzed with confusion and disbelief. He did not understand how a man he knew and respected could possibly be doing something like that to a boy. He could not understand why the boy was not screaming out in pain or protest, or fighting to free himself. He could not understand why, when faced with a potential rescuer (McQueary), the boy did not even ask for help. He could not understand how Sandusky could just stare at him with a blank expression only seconds after he was apparently sexually assaulting a boy. And he did not understand how any of this could have happened in his own football locker room. Quite simply, in McQueary’s mind, it did not compute.

McQueary was forced to reconcile three things in his mind that he did not know how to reconcile: (1) when he heard the slapping sounds, he expected to see “normal” sexual activity, but what he saw was shocking, (2) he had always known Sandusky as a nice guy, professional, altruistic person, but now he was confronted with the sight of Sandusky apparently sexually assaulting a boy, and (3) the young boy was not fighting, screaming, or attempting to get away — all the things he would expect the victim of a sexual assault to do. At the time, and in the subsequent days, McQueary could not reconcile these things. He knew nothing about preferential sex offenders, grooming, “nice-guy” acquaintance offenders,and compliant victimization. Consequently, he did not rescue the boy. He ran away. He did not go to the campus police, he went to his office and called his dad. McQueary lived on his own, but he did not go home. He went straight to his parents’ house. While McQueary’s actions are confusing to many, in my experience they are typical of someone who is completely baffled and confused by what he saw and consequently he did not have the confidence to report it in detail.

McQueary has consistently testified that he did not tell Paterno any graphic details, so it is highly probable that McQueary did not tell Paterno anything that would have led Paterno to believe that Sandusky was sexually assaulting the boy in the shower.

The following day, McQueary went to Paterno’s house. According to McQueary, he told Paterno that he “saw Jerry with a young boy in the shower and that it was way over the line,”“[t]he rough positioning I would have described but not in very much detail,”“I told him what I had seen, again, on the surface.”However, McQueary has been clear that he did not use the terms “anal,” “intercourse,” sodomy,” or “rape.”McQueary explains he did not give these details “out of respect and just not getting into detail with someone like Coach Paterno,”“in my mind I don’t go to Coach Paterno and go into great detail of sexual acts. I would have never done that with him ever.” In fact, the reason McQueary didn’t want to use sexual terms with Paterno was the very reason why he needed to. Paterno was known as a prude who was uncomfortable talking about sex. Implying a sex act was not enough to undermine Paterno’s years of interactions with Sandusky and Sandusky’s image as a pillar of the community. McQueary needed to be direct, explicit, and comprehensive in his description. If McQueary had simply said to Paterno, “I saw Sandusky having sex with a boy,” then at least Paterno would have known what McQueary meant. Paterno may still have had trouble believing McQueary, but he would at least have been aware of what McQueary was saying.

Sexual behavior is typically very private; criminal sexual behavior is extremely private.McQueary was understandably embarrassed by what he witnessed, and he acted like someone who had never had to talk about this difficult topic before in his life. It apparently was particularly difficult for McQueary to talk to an elder and iconic figure whom he looked up to about the details of sexual activity.

In response, Paterno, trying to spare McQueary from any further distress, told McQueary that he didn’t have to tell Paterno anything else, that McQueary did the right thing bringing it to Paterno, and that it was Paterno’s job to get McQueary together with the right people for McQueary to report it.

What we do know from Paterno’s recounting of events and his later shock and surprise when he finally read McQueary’s statements in the presentment the week of November 7, 2011,was that Paterno did not have any idea that McQueary was trying to tell him that Sandusky was sodomizing the boy or even sexually assaulting the boy. When asked by an investigator if McQueary said there was a sexual act, Paterno responded, “He never said that.” When Paterno finally read the presentment, he asked his son what the word “sodomy” meant. After his son explained it to him, Paterno asked, “Can a man even do that to a boy?” Nonetheless, as Paterno explained, if he had been told that Sandusky was raping a boy, or having sex with a boy in the shower, he “would have gone to the police right then and there, no questions asked.”

It is more reasonable to conclude that these five men did notunderstand the true nature of Sandusky’s actions because McQueary did not convey what he thought he had conveyed to them. That’s because McQueary relied on implication, and deliberately did not use explicit or graphic terms in describing what he thought he witnessed in the shower.

Of those five men, the one who was most prepared for such a situation arguably would be Dr. Dranov. As a medical doctor, he is a mandated reporter, and he acted like one. He asked all the right questions aimed at determining whether McQueary had seen any specific sexual acts.  McQueary repeatedly said no and got more upset when Dr. Dranov attempted to get more details  out of him. Dr. Dranov then advised McQueary to tell Coach Paterno and did nothing more. Dr.Dranov did not tell McQueary to call the police, he did not call the police himself, and he did not call the Department of Public Welfare. This behavior is consistent with Dr. Dranov deducing at the time that what McQueary had actually witnessed was non-sexual in nature.

Conklin bill to reform Penn State University’s Board of Trustees


Removes voting power from school president, governor

 HARRISBURG, July 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced plans to introduce legislation which would significantly alter the structure and governance of Penn State University’s Board of Trustees.

Conklin said his legislative reform was prompted by recommendations issued by state Auditor General Jack Wagner in the wake of the child sexual abuse charges brought against former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

“Specifically, Wagner recommended overhauling the manner in which the board of trustees operates to create greater transparency and accountability,” Conklin said. “This is a necessary step to restoring public trust in one of Pennsylvania’s great universities.”

Conklin’s reforms would include, but not be limited to:

·         Amending Penn State’s enabling statute to remove the president of the university as an ex-officio voting member of the board;

·         Prohibiting the president from serving on any standing committee, special committees and subcommittees of the board;

·         Amending Penn State’s enabling statute to make the governor an ex-officio “non-voting” member of the board; and

·         Making the Right-To-Know Law applicable to all four state-related universities.

“It is my belief that the reforms proposed by Auditor General Wagner will be instrumental and effective in eliminating the concentration of power among administrative officials,” Conklin said.  “This will ensure the board of trustees operates in a more cohesive and transparent manner while providing adequate and much-needed oversight.

“The heart-wrenching saga that has unfolded over the Sandusky investigation leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that the system as presently structured has failed,” Conklin said. “It is our obligation to fix it.”

Conklin plans to introduce his legislation when the House returns from summer recess.

 

Time for Tom Corbett to get HIS!!


HARRISBURG—

— With former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky behind bars, convicted on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse, it might have been the question that Gov. Tom Corbett thought had finally gone away.
But with the release Thursday of former FBI Director Louis Freeh‘s report on the handling of the scandal that rocked the university to its core, Corbett was asked it again: As the attorney general who began the investigation into the allegations against Sandusky, what would you have done differently? Would you have moved more quickly to get Sandusky off the streets?
The Republican‘s anger was instant and incandescent.

“Why are you all obsessed with that?” he retorted, his face growing red at the query from a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter. “It has been answered. It has been answered over and over and over again.”
Corbett rapped his podium, underscoring each “over” with the quick smack of his fist.
“Forty-five of 48 counts,” he fumed. “We do not hold up investigations for anything. You are disparaging the reputation of the men and women in that office who have worked very hard to get to the result that justice was served and a monster was taken off the street.”
That Sandusky walked free for nearly three years while investigators built their case against him has been the question nagging at Corbett since the grand jury report was released in November. Corbett served as attorney general from 2004 to 2010.

Sandusky Trial set to Begin on Monday


A judge has denied Jerry Sandusky’s latest attempt to have three of 10 cases of child sex abusedismissed before his trial begins Monday.

The Centre County courthouse is the venue for the Jerry Sandusky trial. Tuesday is the first day of jury selection for the former Penn State coach who is being tried on child molestation charges. Sandusky has been charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse allegedly involving 10 boys over 15 years.
That means jurors will hear about an allegation made in 1998 that was never prosecuted at the discretion of former and missing district attorney Ray Gricar. They will also hear assistant football coach Mike McQueary recount an incident he says he witnessed in the showers of the football locker room in 2001. And, janitors will testify about what happened one night in 2000, when they were cleaning those same showers and one of them witnessed Sandusky with a young boy. In that case, attorney Joe Amendola said the prosecution‘s entire case was based on hearsay, since the janitor who actually saw the act has dementia and can’t testify. At a hearing last month, the judge indicated he believed a jury should make a decision on the three cases. Amendola argued that the more cases put before a jury, the more likely they are to convict. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte.

Paterno took the fall–Follow the Timeline!


Following Tom Corbett‘s election as governor in November 2010, more troubling writing soon emerged on the wall. In this case, the electronic wall.

In this politically charged environment, about the time of Corbett’s election as governor, AG’s Office narcotics Agent Anthony Sassano conducted a routine “toll search” in connection with a State College-area drug investigation and got a surprise hit on his PACE Explorer computer database.

Narcotics Agent Sassano discovered that a pedophile complaint concerning Jerry Sandusky had been filed in Corbett’s office way back in early 2009. What’s up with that?

Once the right hand was aware of what the left was not doing, other things became apparent.

Agent Sassano quickly learned that Centre County DA Ray Gricar had investigated a pedophile complaint against Sandusky in 1998. The agent soon helped piece together another story, told in public postings in Internet chat boards, concerning Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary.

McQueary saw something that deeply troubled him in 2002 involving Sandusky and a boy in the PSU shower room. He’d reported it to Penn State officials, including Coach Paterno. But had those PSU officials reported anything to DA Ray Gricar?

DA Ray Gricar, and what Gricar may or may not have known about Sandusky and these complaints, suddenly became, well, important. Trouble was, DA Gricar had mysteriously vanished from the face of the earth in April 2005. Ray wasn’t going to be talking to anyone in the AG’s office any time soon. Nor could invisible Ray provide much insight about Sandusky’s earlier legal treatment, status, or much of anything else, for that matter, including the weather, or what he might have for lunch.

As Clarence the Angel tells George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

By now even Inspector Clouseau could divine there was more amiss than just DA Ray in Tom Corbett’s troubled AG’s office.

   

 


It became all too apparent that here was  multi-layered in the office of the state attorney general. And it was heading to the governor’s office.

Why hadn’t Corbett pushed to solve DA Gricar’s disappearance, or even seemed much concerned about it?

Following DA Gricar’s much celebrated strange vanishing, AG Corbett had just as mysteriously refused to allocate much in the way of resources to address Gricar’s non-existence. Oh, a state police unit was assigned to supposedly look into Gricar’s non-whereabouts. But that was just another one of Corbett’s Keystone Kops details, one State College private investigator tells me. “Those guys didn’t know shit from shinola.”

AG’s office flaks were still putting out the line that perhaps DA Ray, looking forward to retirement in a few months, had simply “wandered off,” leaving behind his family and his well-vested pension, and that DA Ray was most likely not the victim of anything untoward. Like the 2008 Sandusky complaint, the disappearance of DA Ray Gricar was for some reason never at all a priority of Tom Corbett’s.

The one law enforcement official — Ray Gricar — who could best shed light on the multiple Sandusky pedophile complaint(s) himself was long gone, and AG Corbett had long ago allowed the trail to go stone cold, cold, cold.

What was up with that?

Corbett avoids assigning Sandusky case to AG’s Child Predator Unit:
‘Could have done a quick grand jury in two months’ time’

Why had there been no serious investigation or prosecution of Jerry Sandusky before the 2010 governor’s election? Do we really need to ask?

Tom Corbett simply did not want a Sandusky pedophile investigation to go forward, going back to 2009, those with knowledge of the case say.

Now that he’d won the governor’s office, Corbett was out of the way. He’d used the AG’s office as a political stalking horse, and now he climbed off the broken beast and sauntered away to greener pastures. Corbett got what he’d wanted, and that was all that mattered to him.

“Corbett didn’t want the Sandusky investigation to go forward. He resisted it for some reason. There was no priority at all to it. He told his staff he didn’t want to do it. Corbett was the problem.”

Corbett associates point out that AG Corbett had every opportunity to pursue the investigation for a year and a half, and had many venues available to him to do it, his lame excuses involving “Bonusgate,” and “slow grand juries” notwithstanding.

For example, AG Corbett could simply have assigned the 2008-2009 Sandusky complaint(s) to the AG office’s much-hyped Child Predator Unit, which would have been a normal and logical course of action for a case like this.

“In order for law enforcement to stay one step ahead of … sexual predators the Office widened the scope of the Attorney General’s task force into a larger, broader statewide Child Predator Unit,” the AG’s office website explains.

“In January 2005, a dedicated Child Predator Unit was created using a group of specially trained agents and prosecutors across Pennsylvania to identify and capture … predators before they can harm children,” the webpage goes on to tell voters.

The webpage reminds us, “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that one in five girls and one in ten boys are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood.” Tom Corbett would do nothing to improve those statistics.

In 2011, in fact, the AG’s office crowed that its hard-working Child Predator Unit had, since its inception in 2005, arrested 298 child predators. Jerry Sandusky would never be among the hundreds arrested by the unit.

“The Child Predator’s Unit could have done a quick grand jury in two months’ time back in 2009, arrested Jerry Sandusky like all the other predators and got him off the street.”

But that never happened. AG Corbett didn’t seem to trust his own vaunted Child Predator Unit to handle the Sandusky case, or to get the job done.

Or, alternately, Corbett could have chosen to assign the Sandusky case to his Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force, which was formed in 1995.

“The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has also been recognized as a leading law enforcement agency in this area with respect to its proactive ‘sting’ operations aimed at pedophiles and child pornographers,” the AG’s Child Exploitation Task Force’s webpage explains. “These ‘sting’ operations are designed to arrest and convict those individuals who actively seek teen and pre-teen children to engage in deviate sexual conduct. Through continued cooperation and support, the Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force will work to eradicate crimes against our children while keeping pace with today’s technology.”

The Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force evidently couldn’t keep pace with the AG office’s own PACE computer system, where evidence lurked for a year and a half of the languishing Sandusky pedophile complaint(s) referred to Corbett’s office in March 2009.

You begin to get the picture. AG Corbett had many venues available to him to get the Sandusky case moving, if he so chose. He simply chose not to, as those around Corbett say.

Making sad matters even more ridiculous, after the nationwide public relations fiasco of the Sandusky case hit the fan in November 2011, Gov. Corbett would disingenuously propose yet another agency in the AG’s office to supposedly follow through on child abuse complaints. Talk about the fox watching the hen house.

Informed parents and children for their own safety would be better advised to avoid the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General altogether. It’s simply not a safe or responsible place, at the moment, for kids.

In fairness to the hard-working and genuinely concerned members of these child predator units, I should point out the obvious: Tom Corbett was the problem here, not them. It was the injection of politics into the office of attorney general that’s the problem. The inherent political nature of the office remains. And that’s a big problem, as we now see.

A moveable scandal: Gov-elect Corbett removed as obstacle,
AG office nabs Sandusky in several months’ time

It’s a matter of public record how fast things happened once Tom Corbett won his governor’s election and was on his way out the AG office door, leaving behind a broken and demoralized AG’s office staff.

It was a magic moment, a transition time between two attorneys general where the professional staff has greater-than-normal latitude.

The involvement of the narcotics unit officer, and the subsequent discovery of the two earlier Sandusky complaints, tied together with the vanishing of DA Ray Gricar, now made the case compelling, to say the least.

No time was now wasted. In December 2010, Mike McQueary was finally put in front of the soon-to-expire Thirtieth Statewide Grand Jury. “The graduate assistant was never questioned by University Police and no other entity conducted an investigation until he testified in Grand Jury in December, 2010,” the Sandusky grand jury presentment tellingly concludes.

On January 12, 2011, less than a week before Tom Corbett was sworn in as governor, Penn State officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz finally made it before the Thirtieth Grand Jury, perjuring themselves, the AG’s office later would allege.

Like the earlier grand juries, those grand jurors wouldn’t be given much of a crack at the case. In fact, the Thirtieth Grand Jury was set to expire at the end of January 2011, only a month after they’d first heard from McQueary. In February a new statewide investigating Grand Jury, officially numbered the Thirty-Third, loaded with newcomers, would have to be convened and sworn in to take fresh testimony long overdue in the Sandusky case.

Meanwhile, late in January 2011, seven additional state police and AG office agents were now assigned to the Sandusky investigation(s). The priorities and resources were finally beginning to be placed.

Karen Arnold would be one of the witnesses to testify before the new, Thirty-Third Statewide Grand Jury. Arnold was a Centre County Assistant DA (ADA) working under District Attorney Ray Gricar when the first complaint had been filed against Jerry Sandusky in 1998. She briefly was assigned the Sandusky case.

Former ADA Arnold tells me that she only had the 1998 Sandusky case for “two or three days” before DA Gricar, without explanation, took the case from her.

“Ray was my boss and he said he would handle it,” former ADA Arnold says. “I only had the Sandusky case for a few days. I don’t know why Ray handled it the way he did. I can’t read his mind. I’m not a mind reader.”

She says Ron Schreffler of the PSU police department originally referred the Sandusky case to the DA’s office way back in 1998. Schreffler was an investigator with the university police department. He handled the original 1998 Sandusky complaint. Schreffler in those days oversaw most of the important investigations at the university, including those involving drugs, football betting, arson and bomb incidents. Schreffler helped produce the 100-plus-page report about the 1998 Sandusky incident that was referred to DA Gricar. That report has become one of the more sought after Pickwick Paper / MacGuffins in the current media paper chase for Sandusky documents.

Former ADA Arnold says she was contacted in February 2011 by a woman in the AG’s office. She asked Arnold to testify before the new grand jury.

“‘You shouldn’t worry if you’re not familiar with the grand jury process,’” Arnold says she was told by the AG’s office contact, “‘as these jurors are new too.’”

Arnold says she testified before the newly seated grand jury the day after Ash Wednesday, which places her testimony on March 10, 2011. Ash Wednesday is what is known as a “moveable feast.” That’s fitting, for a moveable scandal like this. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days Jesus fasted before beginning his ministry, during which time he was tempted, Scriptures say, by Satan.

“The grand jury experience was one of the more negative experiences in my life,” Arnold says. She adds, “There are aspects of the Sandusky case this grand jury ignored and that will bite them in the ass if the case goes forward.”

She wondered aloud about the multiple grand juries involved in the case, and how much of the hundreds of pages of testimony had been produced by which of the jurors. “You have to wonder what’s going on,” she says.

Within a few months of her testimony — and more than a dozen years after DA Ray Gricar took the 1998 case away from her — Jerry Sandusky would finally be arrested for predatory acts against children.

Karen Arnold would suddenly be inundated with telephone calls from media, and a New York Times reporter would be pounding on her door.

Like some long overdue bill, the grand jury presentment finally was delivered and Sandusky arrested in November 2011. Much of the glory would go to a newly appointed and confirmed Attorney General Linda Kelly. But she hadn’t come to office until late May 2011.

Not many in the public nor the media understood that the ball really got rolling in the Sandusky case when the AG’s office was helmed by Acting Attorney General William Ryan, who had been passed over by Gov. Corbett for the AG’s job. Ryan accomplished in several weeks and months’ time what AG Corbett could not do in a year and a half.

And what became of Bill Ryan?

On August 19, 2011, less than two months before Sandusky’s arrest, Governor Tom Corbett announced he’d appointed Ryan chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The former Acting AG would now be in charge of the state’s casinos and racetracks.

“Bill’s proven integrity and more than three decades of experience as a prosecutor will serve him well as the new chairman of the Gaming Control Board,” Corbett said.

Ryan obviously knows more than just prosecuting. Ryan obviously knows something about gambling, and politics, and how both games are played.

JoePa takes the fall for TomCo

For Gov. Tom Corbett, meanwhile, there remained one more important task following the nationwide public relations fiasco of Jerry Sandusky’s long-overdue arrest. Corbett had to protect his own carcass, and cover his own ass for the nuclear blast he now feared was about to blow.

It wouldn’t do to have the public focus on Corbett’s own refusal to investigate or prosecute Jerry Sandusky for a year and half. Corbett sought to change the conversation. He looked around for a likely scapegoat(s) to take the fall for him. What’s one more victim, or two?

Corbett incredibly settled on a beloved 85-year-old to take the fall. The Gipper was down, why not kick him down some more? Gov. Corbett landed on the brilliant idea of throwing Joe Paterno under the bus. As Nixon observed, when the wolves are gaining, it’s time to toss a baby from the sled.

After all, hadn’t Joe Paterno failed to follow up by calling the university police or DA Gricar in 2002? It wasn’t nearly as bad as deliberately sandbagging the Sandusky case for a year and half, and actively shielding and protecting Jerry Sandusky, as AG Corbett had done.

But Corbett knows from first-hand experience that today’s corporate media is servile, for the most part isn’t all that smart or morally scrupulous, and doesn’t look into things all that deeply or for very long. And more and more these days they simply write what they’re handed. Corbett himself learned this on his long slog for the governor’s chair, and all through the recent years of growing corruption in Pennsylvania. That business with the 6,500 kids sold down the river in Wilkes-Barre had blown over. Maybe the serial rape of innumerable kids at Penn State will blow over too.

Corbett’s job as attorney general had been to prosecute. To uphold the law. To protect the public. He didn’t do so well in that job. Now, as governor, the job was altogether different.

A competent governor, and a good man, would have, and should have, asked the public not to rush to judgment against Joe Paterno. A competent leader, and a good man, would have asked the public to wait for all the facts to come in. A competent governor, and a good man, would have reminded the public of the great and exemplary services performed for Pennsylvania, and Penn State, by Joe Paterno in over 60 years on the job. A competent governor, and a good man, would have pointed out that that Joe Paterno was Our Coach.

   

‘Joe Paterno was Pennsylvania’s Coach, and we owed him, in his final days, our debt of gratitude, not a death of instant scandal and ruin’


Joe Paterno was Pennsylvania’s Coach, and we owed him, in his final days, our debt of gratitude, not a death of instant scandal and ruin.

“It’s going to kill Joe,” suddenly was on everyone’s lips. “It’s going to kill him.”

Tom Corbett, as usual, had his own not-so-sorry ass to worry about. It would be the pathetic act of a desperate, morally bankrupt man.

On November 9, 2011, Gov. Tom Corbett indulged the Penn State board of trustees, by telephone, to throw Joe Paterno under the bus. At the moment of the vote to fire Paterno, Corbett said over the speakerphone, “Remember that little boy in the shower.”

From the 31 trustees in the room there was no response. No question. No objection. Just silence. Despite the illustrious backgrounds of most of them, they all marched in lockstep, following Corbett’s lead.

Corbett wasn’t there to look them, or Paterno, in the eye. He wasn’t there to explain why he had done nothing to help that little boy. He wasn’t there to explain why he himself had prevented any investigation for a year and a half. He wasn’t there to explain the double standard. Why should the coach be punished, but not the attorney general/governor? As I say, in Tom Corbett’s Pennsylvania, some are more privileged than others.

That night Corbett got his scapegoat, and the students rioted in State College. A weary nation turned its eyes to the fleeting images of the saddened cries, groans and crashes of the decline and fall of Pennsylvania.

A simmering story in the sports columns in moments ignited into an all-consuming firestorm, a national disgrace, and a world-class scandal.

Tom Corbett’s self-serving decision to sack Coach Joe Paterno and make Paterno the fall guy in this long-running tragedy was as if, one observer told me, “the A-bomb had been used to detonate the H-bomb.”

But competence, and properly handling a delicate, important matter, after all, has never been Tom Corbett’s forte. Tom Corbett’s forte has always been fixing cases.

This time, if there remains any justice at all on earth and in heaven, the fix might yet fix him.

As I finish writing this essay, sadly, news arrives of the passing of Coach Joe Paterno.

What this is called

How had we come to this?

It is Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan’s role as state attorney general in the magic moment period between Corbett and Kelly that bears our close consideration.

It is that magic moment itself, that period between the transactions, when politics is there, and isn’t there, that deserves our thoughts.

It is indeed a magic moment. It is a moment when law enforcement professionals in Pennsylvania can, in the most amazingly unfettered fashion, do something extraordinary.

With the Sandusky case, after all, Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan didn’t have to do much of anything but give proper priority to the case, assign it proper resources, and sit back and watch the process take its normal course.

It’s one more measure of our collective sickness, and our jaded expectations of political machinations, that we have to wonder at all about the motivations behind this once-normal process.

Enforcing the law, it used to be called at the attorney general’s office.

 

– Bill Keisling IV

posted January 22, 2012

This is the second of a planned three-part essay.

Read the first part, Busted: Narcotics officer nabs Sandusky, here >.

Read Part 3: The Magic Moment: Six decades of Pennsylvania governors, AGs, and the Pennsylvania Republican Party – Part 1 1950 to 1980

The Magic Moment Part 2: The Elected Years 1980 to 1995

 

Related:

Timeline: An insider’s timeline of the Sandusky/PSU/Corbett scandal

Busted: Narcotics agent nabs Jerry Sandusky

Football Letterman “Make an Impact”–Do Joe Proud!!


The men of the Football Letterman’s Club quietly took on a task they thought their mentor, Paterno, would have expected them to do. They voted to take on an initiative they call “Defend a Child,” a move to position them as leaders in stopping child sex abuse. “All of us in that room … had gotten a massive education in how prevalent sexual abuse is in our society,” said one of those men, Rudy Glocker, who played for Paterno in the late 1980s and early ’90s. “We said, ‘Look, we’re going to be leaders.’ That’s what Joe taught us to do.” Glocker  joined the initiative in December. The club’s goals are simple: first educate its members, then raise awareness about sexual abuse and educate the community about preventing it. Along the way, members have learned startling statistics: On average, 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. For boys, the average is 1 in 6. Or that 73 percent of child victims don’t tell anyone they were abused for at least a year. Forty-five percent of the victims don’t say anything for at least five years, according to the national organization Darkness to Light. The lettermen involved don’t want to be singled out for their part of making the initiative come together or what it’ll do. That was something Paterno taught them, they’ve said, pointing to the empty space on the back of a Penn State football jersey where the name would go. Further, they say they’re not trying to reinvent the wheel by duplicating existing advocacy and education services. Instead, they want to use their celebrity and influence to make people comfortable with talking about child sex abuse and direct them to the experts. Blue-White weekend, on April 20-22, is slated to be the internal launch of the initiative. To learn about child sex abuse, club members will attend an April 21 training session offered by the law firm Love and Norris, of Fort Worth, Texas. The firm defends victims of child sexual abuse in the public, private and religious sectors. Some lettermen who play in the NFL will be filmed in public service announcements on the topic of child sex abuse. The PSAs will be filmed by WPSU, the university’s public broadcasting station. “This is a great initiative, and we certainly encourage all and any efforts to educate and raise awareness about this insidious and destructive crime,” said Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers. “Leadership on all fronts is needed if we are to make a difference, and the lettermen can certainly make a difference.” The group’s website, www.defendachild.org, should be up and running by then, too, and contain resources and related information. As they’re readying themselves for the club’s launch, members have been reaching out to Centre County organizations and national child abuse prevention advocates and experts. Earlier in March, they attended a meeting of local leaders working on organizing an initiative called the Centre County Child Safety and Protective Collaborative. It includes leaders from the county’s United Way, YMCA, Women’s Resource Center and Youth Service Bureau. That meeting featured speakers from Darkness to Light, which is based in Charleston, S.C. Cindy McElhinney, the director of Darkness to Light programs, said she thinks the lettermen will set “a great example” in advancing the education about child sex abuse. Her organization has provided them with a 21/ 2-hour interactive training workshop. McElhinney said the training teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child abuse. Participants have to talk about child sex abuse, something she said is a tough barrier to break down. The lettermen also have turned to advocates at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape for educational and prevention resources. Coalition spokeswoman Kristen Houser said prevention efforts go beyond calling the police to report possible abuse, and she applauded the lettermen for their efforts. “We’re really encouraged that so many people from so many walks of life are saying that they want to be a part of the solution,” she said. Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/03/18/3130820/psu-lettermen-swift-to-act.html#storylink=cpy

What Joe Paterno REALLY Said!


The media’s hand in this debacle is equally stained. Many in the media knew of the Sandusky rumors for 16 years and did not push for a major investigation. The press had to have learned of Gov. Corbett‘s self-protection angle but self-righteously continued down the Paterno narrative. This self-serving dereliction of duty continues to protect their previous actions. The media commentators say over and over again that Paterno said he wished he had done more (Actually my recollection is that the press is saying that he said, ‘I should have done more’.”   They did this as if they were attempting to convince us that Mr. Paterno was making an admission of guilt.

In fact in his resignation statement Paterno actually said the following: “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more.” The addition of the word hindsight changes the entire meaning. Mr. Paterno, like all of us would change many of our actions if we could see the future.

Joe Paterno‘s resignation statement was again him being his usual humble self. He did not defend or blame anyone else for the despicable way he was treated. He politely refused to play prosecutor and law enforcer in the Sandusky saga but noted the abuse of children was a horrific act.

Mr. Paterno did everything he should have done in this situation. He reported the allegation he received second hand to school official Tim Curley, and to the administrator in charge of campus police. He never eye-witnessed any act on a child. All his knowledge and that of a multitude of others were hearsay rumors.

Penn State Football Severance Payouts Announced


Acting Athletic Director David Joyner said Friday the status of the assistant coaches who aren’t coming back from former coach Joe Paterno‘s staff hasn’t been finalized. Some may choose to retire, others could seek different jobs at Penn State or move on.
Joyner spoke after Penn State’s board of trustees met Friday. He told trustees the severance payout will contribute to a projected net budget loss of $5 million for the upcoming year.
Joyner said the severance figure does not include Paterno, who was ousted in November in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
AP story.