The series so far: The Patriot News and Sara Ganim erroneously reported that TSM kept Sandusky out of children's programs immediately after his investigation began in 2008. They also truncated the time frame of the abuse of Victim 9 to make it appear as if TSM had a protection plan that kept Sandusky away from children. In the third part of the series, we'll examine how the Patriot News' and Ganim blindly accepted the charity's excuses for its failure to report the 2001 incident.
When the Sandusky scandal broke, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's (PA OAG) press conference prominently featured two PSU administrators on a placard next to one of Jerry Sandusky. Their alleged crimes were failing to report child abuse and perjury regarding what they were told by Mike McQueary.
From the outset, the Patriot News reported how the report from McQueary was watered down by the PSU administrators which led to their alleged failure to report. This report was based on the mostly discredited 23-page grand jury presentment and the alleged "watering down" of the incident and failure to report remains unproven.
While the grand jury presentment mentioned that PSU reported 2001 incident to The Second Mile (TSM), the Patriot News half-heartedly pursued the rather obvious alternative that TSM had failed to report the incident because of financial reasons.
Early reports by the Patriot News' Donald Gilliland, Sara Ganim, and Jeff Frantz included discussions of the charity's finances and the escalating salaries of Executive Director Dr. Jack Raykovitz and his wife, Katherine Genovese. The reporting showed that the charity raised over $17 million from 2002 through late 2008, when Sandusky's consulting fee was stopped.
Even though the Patriot News laid off the charity's finances in its future reporting, the fact that the victims all were from the charity and the horrific nature of the crimes reported in the presentment (though the worst incidents have now been debunked), the charity was unable to survive financially.
Amazingly, the financial failure - and the importance of Jerry Sandusky to the charity as its key fund raiser- never "grew legs" as the reason why TSM didn't report Sandusky for the 2001 incident.
Excuses for Failure To Report Don't Hold WaterThe Patriot News and the rest of the media led the public to believe that Penn State covered up for a retired coach (that Joe Paterno didn't even like) to preserve the school's reputation. Absent alternative scenarios (of which there are several), the public bought this nonsense, much like it did the Duke lacrosse/rape case.
But to sell this nonsense to the public, the Patriot News promoted the narrative that a licensed, PhD psychologist, would not suspect that an incident of a man showering with a child was possible child abuse because an athletic director may have told him otherwise.
That is simply preposterous.
Dr. Raykovitz worked for Mid-Step Child Development Center, which specialized in children and adolescent development/counseling, as well as serving as the Executive Director of the charity. Obviously, he would not have been been swayed by the report of a layman about a possible child abuse situation.
Curley's testimony at the grand jury was that Sandusky's actions had made a PSU employee (McQueary) "uncomfortable." If it was enough for Curley to meet in person with charity's Executive Director, then if anyone is downplaying what was reported, it was Raykovitz.
Ironically, he's not the only "psychologist" in this saga to downplay Sandusky's actions.
But it gets better.
In Sara Ganim's five-part series, published in August 2012, one of the charity's directors, Bruce Heim, went on the record to state that he told Raykovitz that the 2001 shower incident was a "non-starter" and that it need not be reported to TSM's board.
So now we have Dr. Jack Raykovitz, licensed psychologist, not suspecting or reporting child abuse because he was advised so by a real estate developer.
Heim's statement on his advice to Dr. Raykovitz was also quite remarkable:
“For five years, I worked out at the football facility, several times a week, and saw Jerry showering with children,” he said. “I said I don’t think it’s relevant. It happens every day at the YMCA. I remember the conversation specifically because it seemed like a nonstarter because of what Penn State said went on.”
And of course, the most preposterous statement of all came from Raykovitz, who advised Sandusky to wear swim trunks if he showered with children after workouts.
The Patriot News gave TSM a pass for not reporting the 2001 incident, citing these incredibly weak statements as justification. And it didn't bother to raise the issue of the competency of Dr. Raykovitz to be running a children's charity -- or him being permitted to work with children.
Maybe that was because the Patriot News understood this was not about competency -- it was about money. And their job was to follow (and not deviate from) the story line offered by the PA OAG.
Charity Kept Molester Around To Raise Money, Keep Charity Afloat
The Patriot News reported when Raykovitz was informed about the Sandusky investigation in November 2008, they decided to not tell the public anything about it unless they were directly asked. The TSM Board was split on Sandusky's future involvement with the charity. However, the split decision was to let Sandusky continue to fund raise while he was under criminal investigation.
Myra Toomey, who was hired to work in the development office in 2011, said she wasn’t told about the accusations against Sandusky until after she accepted the job.
Although Sandusky had formally announced his retirement from the charity in September 2010, he remained involved with the charity for special events and fundraisers even after his investigation was announced in March 2011. In January 2011, Dr. Raykovitz mentioned Sandusky's continued involvement with the charity when it appealed to the Centre County commissioners for funding for the construction of its Center of Excellence. Sandusky would later play in TSM's golf tournament/fund-raiser that spring.
The evidence that TSM kept an indicated child abuser involved with a children's charity after he had lost his clearance to work with children is bad enough. But to admit they did it because of his ability to raise money truly shows their true motivation.
Yet, the Patriot News never made this the story.
That same motive existed in 2001, yet the Patriot News promoted the lame excuses offered by Heim and Raykovitz for keeping Sandusky's abuse a secret then.
The truth is that TSM's failure to report Sandusky in 2001 wasn't because of the advice Dr. Raykovitz received from an athletic director and a real estate developer.
Sandusky was not reported by TSM in 2001 because it would have been the end of the charity.
History has proven that.