Wednesday, August 1

A Letter to RAINN

From: Ray Blehar
To: Scott Berkowitz  Director RAINN
Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 3:16 PM
Subject: Freeh Report Failed To Identify Failures at State and Local Level

Dear Scott,
I am a Penn State alumni, a RAINN donor, and a senior intelligence official with 27 years of federal service.
In my career, I have served as a Deputy Inspector General, Deputy Director for Quality, Chief of Financial Management Control, and various other important positions.  In addition, I formerly volunteered as an Examiner for the U.S. Senate Productivity and Maryland Quality Awards programs.  In short, I have written, edited, analyzed, and responded to many, many investigations and audits in my career. 
It is my professional opinion that Mr. Freeh's report provided very valuable information for improving Penn State's governance and system of controls, especially those that aid in the prevention of child abuse.
It is also my professional opinion that narrow scope of the investigation, strictly focusing on Penn State University, caused Mr. Freeh to not examine or report the failures at the state and local level in 1998 that contributed to the many crimes committed by Jerry Sandusky. 
I am bringing the failures at the state and local level to your attention today.
The following facts are sourced from the Freeh Report, the 1998 police report of the incident, grand jury presentment, and the psychologists report.  Mr. Freeh had access to those facts, plus interviews with over 400 people.They are:
1.  By the end of the first two days of the investigation (May 5, 1998) the Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) investigator John Miller was aware of the following facts pertaining to the child now known as Victim 6:
  • 12 signs of suspected child abuse, including that one victim had taken two showers in the 11 hours since he showered with Sandusky
  • that the child had difficulty sleeping that night
  • that the child had been seeing a psychologist for emotional problems 
  • the fact that Sandusky had showered with another child who lived in that neighborhood.
  • the fact that her son, the neighborhood friend, and at least one, and up to six other children who were friends with her son and frequently interacted with Sandusky
  • that the mother's psychiatrist, Dr. Alycia Chambers, interviewed the child re: the incident and filed child abuse hotline report with the Pennslyvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW).
2.  The second child was interviewed by CYS investigator Miller and University Park Police Department Detective Ronald Schreffler.  The interview was tape recorded.  It is important to note that the police report indicates the child was interviewed alone, with no parent or guardian present.  At the conclusion of that interview,  Miller and Schreffler decided to re-interview the first child (Victim 6).  Again, the child's mother was present and the child would not admit to Sandusky doing anything wrong.
3.  On or about May 7th, 1998, the DPW assigned Program Respresentative, Jerry Lauro to the case.  Mr. Lauro and he met with the boys mother and listened to a tape of her son's recorded interview with the police.    The available records show no interview with the second child.
4.  On May 8th, Penn State Director of Public Safety (i.e., chief of police) reported to Senior Vice President Gary Shultz (his supervisor) to inform him of concerns about DPW's role in the investigation because of aconflict of interest with the Second Mile.  Second Mile provided foster care and other youth programs in many regions of the state at no cost to the taxpayer.
5.  On May 8th 1998, Jerry Lauro called Detective Schreffler to inform him that he was sending a psychologist to evaluate the victim.  The man he sent, Mr. Seasock was not a licensed psychologist in 1998 and did not apply for his/receive his license from state until 2002.  Mr. Seasock interviewed the boy and stated that Mr. Sandusky did not show signs of being a pedophile and that he had "boundary issues."  The available records show no attempt to conduct an evaluation the second child.
6.  On May 9th, 1998, Detective Schreffler, of the University Park Police force, had a discussion with Mr. Seasock about the results of his evaluation.  Det. Schreffler raised many concerns about the conclusions drawn by Mr. Seasock regarding his lack of awareness of the important  facts in the case.  Mr. Seasock indicated that he had went into the interview cold.  There is no evidence or information in the public record who assigned Mr. Seasock to do this evaluation.   One of the CYS officials stated their investigation was "severely hampered" by Mr. Seasock's report.
7.  On or about May 13th, 1998, the DPW informed police chief Harmon that a DPW psychologist had spoken with the child and they had not yet interviewed Jerry Sandusky, but intended to do so.  They also informed police chief Harmon that they (DPW) wanted to resolve the matter quickly. 
8.  On the dates of May 12th and May 19th, the police conducted two sting operations in which the mother would have conversations with Sandusky in an attempt to obtain admissions of criminal behavior by Sandusky.  Sandusky provided information that could have resulted in charges of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and endangering a child's welfare.  There is nothing on the record that shows DPW was aware or sought out information about the sting operations.  There is nothing on the record to indicate the police conducted sting operations at the home of the other child.
9.  There is nothing on the record between May 13 and May 31 that shows DPW was actively investigating the case.
10.  On June 1, DPW representative Lauro and Det. Schreffler interviewed Jerry Sandusky. While in the presence of both men, Sandusky admitted to showering with the child (Victim 6) and stating he hugged the child while in the shower.  Sandusky admitted to doing the same thing with other boys.  The police report indicates both men could not determine if a sexual assault occurred.  There is nothing on the record that indicates Sandusky was asked about his interactions with the other child.  The police file was closed on June 3rd, 1998.
11.  Sometime between May 27 and June 1, the District Attorney declined to prosecute the alleged crimes comitted by Sandusky. 
12.  When interviewed by the Special Investigative Counsel, Lauro said that he never spoke to Det. Schreffler about whether improper actions took place between the boy (Victim 6) and Sandusky, that he was unaware of the psychologists evaluation of the boy (Victim 6), that he did not have access to the full facts of the case, and had he seen the psychologists report, he would not have stopped the investigation.  Again, it is notable that nowhere of the record, is there any indication that Mr. Lauro interacted with the second child in this incident.
13.  The Freeh Report's Key Findings, Chapter 2, regarding the "Response of University Officials to the Allegation of Sexual Abuse in 1998 Against Sandusky in 1998," stated the "University Police and the Department of Public Welfare responded quickly to the report of a young boy's the Lasch Building on May 3, 1998.  Nowhere does the Freeh Report note the DPW's failure to contact or review the taped interview of the second child.  The Freeh Report also provides no credit or affirmation of the prompt response of CYS officials, who did make the effort to interview the second child.
14.  The above facts provide a reasonable basis to conclude that Mr. Lauro put forth minimal of effort to investigate the 1998 incident.  He assigned an unlicensed counselor to conduct a psychological evaluation of the boy now known as Victim 6. The fact that he did nothing to investigate the suspected abuse of the other child, who had admitted to twice showering with Sandusky, demonstrates gross negligence and a complete disregard for his duties to protect children.  
15.Mr. Lauro's lack of throughness in the 1998 investigation and his decision to resolve the matter quickly, in less than one week after his assignment to the case strongly support police Penn State officials concern about DPW's role in the investigation because of a potential conflict of interest with the Second Mile.  It is notable that Detective Ronald Schreffler was highly skeptical of John Seasock's evaluation.   It is clear thatPenn State officials who were most involved in this case performed in a manner superior to that of Mr. Lauro. 
16.  The Freeh Report clearly stated that top university officials did not interfere or influence the 1998 investigation in any way, yet they have been defamed and their accomplishments diminished dating back to 1998.  The NCAA levied harsh sanctions on the Penn State football program and current players who certainly had no role in preventing Sandusky from harming children.  I ask you, as a fair minded person, should Penn State University be punished for the poor performance of Jerry Lauro?
17.  The Freeh Report criticized Penn State officials for failing to report the a 2001 case of suspected child abuse of Jerry Sandusky to DPW.  Given DPW's reprehensible performance in 1998, I do not believe a report to that organization in 2001 would have had any effect on stopping Jerry Sandusky from abusing children.
18.  I ask that RAINN use its considerable position in the in preventing and helping the victims of child sexual abuse to call for a federal investigation of the Pennslyvania Department of Public Welfare to ensure: personnel are adequately trained and possess the necessary professional credentials; an adequate system of processes and controls have been put in place to protect children; and that their associations with other local or volunteer organizations are not susceptible to conflicts of interest.  
The welfare of the children in the state of Pennsylvania demands at least that much.
Respectfully submitted,  Raymond M. Blehar

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