Saturday, April 20

Recap of State College, PA, Upon Further Review, 19 April 2013

Presentation shows the PA OAG successful in "anchoring" public opinion that PSU officials and, specifically the football program, enabled Sandusky to rape children on PSU's campus, but the evidence and trial verdicts prove otherwise.

Ray Blehar

From the large placards used at the press conference for the Sandusky indictment, to the grand jury presentment, Paterno's firing, and the Sandusky trial, state government officials successfully "anchored" a false narrative that PSU football enabled Sandusky to rape children on the PSU campus for over a decade.  This salacious narrative was used by the OAG to deflect attention away from its three year investigation of Sandusky which failed to identify a single victim.  My presentation of Friday, as it did in November 2011, destroyed that narrative by using the verdicts and testimony from the Sandusky trial.

"Anchoring Quotes"

“…he saw a naked boy…ten years old…being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky…”
 --Grand Jury Presentment 

“…remember that little old boy in the shower.”
--Governor Tom Corbett

“…the rapes of these boys occurred in the Lasch Building.” 
-- Louis Freeh

“…repeatedly concealed critical facts related to Sandusky’s child
 -- Louis Freeh

Locations of the Crimes

Based on Verdict Slips 2421 and 2422 of 2011, the locations of the crimes were:

15 counts specific to PSU property
  -- Victim 2 – four counts
  -- Victim 5 – three counts
  -- Victim 6 – three counts
  -- Victim 8 – five counts (possible error in admitting hearsay testimony)

30 counts not specific to PSU property (24 occurred off premises)

Of the counts on the PSU campus, the Victim 8 counts are highly questionable and may be overturned on appeal by the Superior Court.  However, there is no doubt that the majority of the crimes in this case were not committed on PSU's campus and that 12 of the fifteen counts are for Sandusky showering with minor youth.

Timeline of Crimes Reviewed

Because of the impact and importance of the timelines of the Sandusky crimes, I repeated the information noting that the police failed to identify any of the victims.

•Victim 7 - Abused 1997 in various locations
Victim 10 – Abused 1997-1999 in various locations.
•Victim 4 - Abused 1998-2000 in various locations.
•Victim 6 - Single shower incident 1998 at PSU.
•Victim 5 - Single shower incident 1998 at PSU.
•Victim 3 - Abused 2000 at Sandusky home and other locations.
•Victim 8 - Abused PSU shower 2000.
Victim 2 – Abused PSU shower 2001 - witnessed by McQueary – reported by PSU officials, who 
reported it to Second Mile.

                            Apparent Stop of Abuse for 3 years

•Aaron Fisher – Abused 2005-2008 at Sandusky’s home & CMHS.
Victim 9 – Abused 2006-2009 at Sandusky’s home

The Sandusky Investigation

To set the stage for the preview of my upcoming Report 3 on the Sandusky investigation and prosecution (expected to be released in May), I provided the following quotes:

“Anyone who sat through that trial knows it was a thorough
investigation.  I don’t care what it looks like.  I know because I was
there.  There was no holding back.”
  --OAG Supervisory Agent,
   Randy Feathers

“When you’re not getting breaks, it doesn’t mean you’re not working.”
  --OAG Supervisory Agent,
   Randy Feathers

“It was kept very secretive, of course, and people wanted to maintain
 that secret.
              -- Agent Anthony Sassano

Mini-Timeline of Investigation

The timeline in Report 3 is four pages long and includes nearly all the dates for police initial interviews with the victims, their grand jury testimony, and other dates.  The significant points on this mini-timeline are that the cops were telling Fisher about other victims from the outset, that the OAG learned of the 1998 investigation in June 2009, and that it took the OAG nineteen months to get the 1998 police report from PSU.   Who was "holding back" and who was "keeping secrets?"

Dec  2008 -  Troopers Cavanaugh and Akers tell Victim 1 he is not  alone ~ Sandusky
                      had other victims (Trial testimony, June 12, 2012, page 77)

Feb 2009  -   Trooper Lear replaced Cavanaugh and Akers

April 2009 -  Centre County DA transfers case to OAG
May 2009 -    31st Statewide Investigating Grand Jury begins

June 2009 – Deputy AG Eschbach informed Mike Gillum that OAG was aware of 1998
                      Sandusky investigation (Silent No More, page 120)

June 2009 -  Rossman replaced Lear/told Fisher about other victims (Trial testimony, June 12,   
                            2012, page 77)

Nov  2010 -   Anonymous Tip Regarding 2001 incident

Dec 2010  -   Interview with Mother of Victim 6, who identifies five victims

Jan 2011  -   State Police obtain University Park Police Report of 1998 Sandusky
                     Investigation (19 months after learning about 1998)

Identifying the Victims

As reported previously, most of the victims were identified by the mother of Victim 6 (five victims), two others (Fisher & Victim 10) reported themselves, and one more was called in by a school official (Victim 9). Victims 2 and 8 remain unidentified.

Victim 3 - Agent Sassano testified about the leads that helped investigators find the victims.  Sassano stated that Victim 3, who was contacted in July 2011, was found through talking to another potential victim.  However, he was one of those identified by the mother of Victim 6 in December 2010.  He had several traffic dockets in the magisterial system, so he should have been found rather quickly if the police ran a records check.  Instead, it took them seven months to "find" him.

Victim 7  - Agent Sassano testified that Victim 7 was found on a 1995 camper list found after a warrant of Sandusky's office was executed on April 12, 2011.  His name was marked with an asterisk.  Sassano must be the unluckiest investigator, because had he been in Strawberry Square on April 11, 2011 - he could have found Victim 7 testifying at the grand jury!  Victim 7 was interviewed by police in February 2011.

Victim 10 - Agent Sassano testifed that Victim 10's name was marked with an asterisk on a 1998 camper list found in Sandusky's office in April.  Victim 10 had a criminal docket from 2007 in the magisterial system and had served a 23 month sentence in SCI-Albion for robbery - released in July 2009.   Victim 10 called the hotline in November 2011 after he heard the news of the Sandusky indictment.   The police didn't find him.

Victim 9 - Agent Sassano testified that Victim 10's name was on a TSM participant list found in Sandusky's home when the executed the warrant in June 2011.  His name was marked with a dash, his phone number was listed, and his mother's name was also listed.  His mother had a 2008 criminal docket in the system that contained her address.   Despite all of this information,the police did not find this victim.  His assistant principal called his name into the police after the grand jury presentment was released.

And despite the obvious facts that Victims 9 and 10 came forward after the presentment, no one in the media - including the CDT - questioned Sassano's story about finding these "leads."  Press reports focused- in part- on Sassano's statements that PSU was slow in getting them information about the case.

The inconsistent statements of Sassano and others involved in the investigation will be detailed in my May report.

The Ages of the Victims and Crime Locations

In the Commonwealth's opening statement, Prosecutor McGettigan described the victims as "little children" who were "weak" and "unaware of the nature of the contact" with Sandusky. He also put the onus on PSU as the only organization who could have done something to stop Sandusky.  Again, this was an "anchoring" strategy for the jury and the press - and it worked.

McGettigan followed that up by first calling Victim 4, who related that practically all of the abuse happened to him as a "little kid" (for the record he was 13-16) and it happened in PSU facilities and hotels where the team stayed.  The evidence exhibits were dominated by PSU football related photographs.  It was also notable that McGettigan coached Victim 4 into saying he was a "little above bellybutton height" on Sandusky -- as a 13 year old.   Photographic evidence revealed that he was 5' 6" tall as a 15 year old, meaning he would have had to have grown 18" in two years.

McGettigan repeated this pattern of asking about the size of the victims throughout the trial.

The chart below is an analysis of the ages of the victims and locations of the crimes.  It revealed that the most serious crimes were committed against teenagers and those crimes were committed mostly off PSU's campus. (K = knew Sandusky, G = grooming, T = touching, OS = oral sex, and R = anal rape).

As the chart shows, the incidents of anal rape occurred at Sandusky's home, yet after the trial, the media reported and the public believed that Sandusky was raping little children on PSU's campus.

Note that Victim 10 is an "outlier," meaning that he was the only victim to testify to serious abuse crimes without any previous or later contact with Sandusky.  Dottie Sandusky testified she had never known Victim 10. (Note: Victim 6 continued contact with Sandusky into 2011).

However, the trial verdicts and media reports are evidence that the OAG's "anchoring" strategy was very effective.  And again, Report 3 will further dissect McGettigan's trial tactics.

More Analysis of the Victim 8/Janitor Incident

While many consider the Victim 8 incident to be a minor issue, I believe it is the second most important issue in this case.   Had the judge ruled that the hearsay testimony of Petrosky was inadmissable, there would have been no grounds to state PSU had a culture problem from the top (Spanier) to the bottom (the janitors).

Had the media analyzed this incident with a critical eye, they would have realized that the locations, timeframe, and circumstances of the incident were so inconsistent that getting a conviction on the testimony of Petrosky was close to a miracle.

The Locations
Between the OAG and the Freeh Report, the location of this crime was three different places.

Lasch – Asst Coaches Locker Room– Lasch Building (Grand Jury)

East Area Locker Building – Freeh Report, page 63

Lasch – Asst Coaches Locker Room – Freeh Report, page 65

Lasch – Staff Locker Room – Trial testimony of Petrosky

The OAG subpoeanaed the names of the janitors who worked in the East Area Locker Room (EALR).  The only logical explanation for this is because the grand jury testimony indicated that there was an obstruction or curtain that would block the bodies and is the Assistant Coaches shower in the EALR.  Victim 4 testified to that fact.

As I noted in my Pittsburgh presentation, the curtain presented a "problem" for the prosecution's case because if Petrosky could not see the bodies, then Calhoun would also be unable to see the bodies, thus could not have witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on the victim.

Solution:  Tell a different story differently at trial  -- and that's what happened. McGettigan told Judge Cleland that the janitors (plural) now remembered the incident differently, but that the changes were not significant.  .

Time Frames of the Crime
The Commonwealth's and Petrosky's time frames for the Victim 8 crimes follow:

Fall 2000 (Grand Jury)

Thursday or Friday night of an away football game.

Between November 20 and 27, 2000 (Comm. Bill of Particulars, May 2012)

Away game at Ohio State (Petrosky Trial Testimony)

Based on Petrosky's trial testimony none of the dates make sense.  While child victims are granted considerable latitude in determining the date of their victimization, adult witnesses are supposed to get it right (especially when there is more than one witness).

The 2000 Season Ended on November 18.

The last game played at HOME on the 18th.

Thanksgiving fell on the Thursday between Nov 20 - 27, 2000.

Team finished 5-7 – no bowl game practices.

Ohio State game was played on September 23rd.

At the trial, the defense failed to raise the arguments about the dates being wrong, although they did raise it at the appeal.

Circumstances of the Crime
Despite McGettigan's admission that the changes in the testimony were insignificant, the changes were quite significant in almost every respect -- except the details of the crime itself.

Reporting of the Crime by the CDT and Freeh
The Freeh Report and the Centre Daily Times reported the trial testimony in line with the grand jury version and not the actual trial testimony of Petrosky.  The Freeh Report made reference to a July 2, 2012 interview (unamed) as its source of the trial testimony.  I jokingly opined that Freeh must have interviewed the reporter from the CDT.   The accounts are below.

First, both reports incorrectly stated that something was blocking the upper bodies.  Next, they stated that Calhoun approached Petrosky, which is opposite of the trial version of Petrosky entering the locker room and encountering Calhoun.   Petrosky made no references at trial to Calhoun's military service.  Freeh also incorrectly stated that multiple witnesses testified at trial.

However, one of the most critical inconsistencies of Petrosky's testimony was his statement that he called police after reading about the graduate assistant incident in the CDT.   Petrosky called the police in March 2011, long before the appearance of the McQueary story in the CDT on November 8, 2011.

Hearsay Ruling
I didn't cover this at the event, but it could be quite significant in its bearing on the NCAA sanctions.

Cleland allowed the hearsay testimony, in part, because two janitors would be called to testify, thus providing more than one account of the hearsay making it admissible under Commonwealth v. Barnes.  Cleland also ruled that "course of conduct" could be used to lay foundation for admissible hearsay. In other words, Sandusky had allegedly molested boys in the showers, so that laid the foundation as well.

The defense argued that Sandusky should first have to be proven guilty for crimes in the showers to establish the foundation.

The Commonwealth argued the hearsay admission should stand, in part, because Petrosky's testimony was buttressed by the testimony of Jay Witherite -- however, Witherite never testified and Judge Cleland apparently overlooked this fact in his appeal ruling.

Cleland's appeal ruling stated he may have erred on the admission of the hearsay and that superior court would decide it, but for the time being it is a "harmless error" because Sandusky was sentenced concurrently for the crimes.  However, this conviction cost PSU $60M in fines, NCAA probation, and its reputation.   It is not "harmless" by any stretch of the imagination.

This circus regarding the Victim 8 trial testimony, particularly the change of crime scene and the failure to testify by Witherite, needs to be fully investigated by the Special Prosecutor.

Breaking the Anchor Chain

Much like in the Duke case, incontrovertible evidence must surface that shows that the current narrative of the Sandusky Scandal is indeed false.

Overturning the janitor incident case could be some of that evidence if the Superior Court so rules.  Kane's investigation could also negate the janitor incident, which could provide solid ground to approach the NCAA because the NCAA sanctions hinge largely in part on that case.  

The second part of breaking the anchor chain is that a new narrative must replace the existing one.  Again, the Kane investigation could indeed provide the new narrative and the new Attorney General stated that "no stone will be left unturned."

Those stones are The Second Mile and the PSU Board of Trustees (and I have reports planned for both groups).

Full presentation will be posted in the future at and/or


  1. Ray
    Sorry I could not make it to the game, I had family obligations. This is by far the best investigative report that has been put together so far. The rush to blame Joe for everything and the lack of any real thought by the BoT and really anyone involved is pathetic. I wish I could do more but I am still teaching and really enjoy a new grandson with another on the way. Please keep up the outstanding work you have done on behave of Penn State and JoePa.

    1. Bob,
      Thanks for the kind words. My third Report will expose a lot more about the Sandusky investigation and prosecution. It should be out in about one month.

      The only thing you need to do is occasionally write letters to the BOT to let them know WE ARE not moving on until the truth is known. Also, spread the word of my work to other people to help get the word out.

      Enjoy your grandchildren.


  2. Thanks Ray. but you are up way to early!

  3. Great post, Mr. Blehar, as to be expected.

    Did you get a chance to take in Ken Burns' powerful documentary about the Central Park Jogger case? It happens that DNA evidence settled the mater conclusively in the Jogger Case. Mr. Sandusky has nothing to counter accusations against him. In his case stories were molded, as they almost always are, to fit situations as known. For example, Mr. McGettigan used a picture of a hotel as evidence that a boy was sexually accosted therein. The boy and Sandusky were in the hotel, but so was Dottie.

    Just a gentle reminder. Given a mere 10% chance of a boy telling on Mr. Sandusky, the probability of 57 keeping the secret, even after many aged out of Second Mile, is .002. Assuming a victim a month for Sandusky over 40 years yields 480 boys keeping mum. The probability of that result is .9 to the 480 power or 10^-22. One can fiddle with the parameters, but the result is smaller than negligible.

    This analysis fails for the Costas' claim of too many accusers not to be true in that the mathematics requires independent actors. You show clearly the tie of many to the poised well, victim six's obsessive mother, and to police holding a common theory of the case. Sprinkle in dreams of a house for a mother and a jeep for oneself and of big paydays for fancy-pants lawyers, and Mr. Costas is proved a fool of first order.

    1. Thanks, Wbill.

      In the end, there will be another probability analysis that shows it is impossible to refute the connections between TSM and the BOT.


    2. Read the NYT article on the Central Park Case and saw the panel discussion on the Burns documentary. Very relevant to the PSU case.

  4. Ray, I keep remembering your previous post that provided relevant facts about each of the boys of the Sandusky case. You included info about the relationships many of them maintained with JS through the years. I realize that years after sexual victimization, those abused may remain traumatized and confused and therefore not act in otherwise rational ways regarding their victimizer. Nevertheless, in a case such as this, in which investigative and prosecutorial misconduct may have occurred, I believe a closer look at the relationships among JS and the boys of this case is warranted. It may aid the ongoing investigations if you would, for example, extend the chart in this post so that it includes the boys' ages through 2012; and then indicate which boys, and for how long, maintained a social relationship with JS. Perhaps the notation "S" would work, for "socialized". ("K" refers only to knowing JS, I believe, not necessarily having dinner with him and inviting him to your wedding.) Looking forward to the upcoming reports! Becky

    1. Victim 6 maintained a relationship with Sandusky after his 1998 incident. The rest cut off any kind of relationship with Sandusky after the abuse.

      Victim 7 also maintained a relationship with him after his mother cut off his staying overnight with Sandusky. Got football tickets for nearly a decade and tailgated with the Sandusky family.

      The rest basically cut it off. V4 stopped in for a visit, but only after his girlfriend pressed him about whether anything went on between he and Sandusky.

      Fisher - cut off in Dec 2008
      V3 - moved away in foster care.
      V5 - stopped immediately after shower incident.
      V9 - stopped after abuse.
      V10 - no relationship
      V2 and V8 - unknown (officially)

  5. What's the story on victim 10? How did he run across Sadnusky?

    1. Apparently, he read about Sandusky in the newspaper or watched news reports after the grand jury presentment was released. Sassano said his name was on a Second Mile camper list from 1998, but Sassano isn't the most reliable witness.

  6. Ray:

    Your talent and professionalism continue to amaze me. Wish we had met when I was younger and still in the profession. I think we would have made a great team.
    Al Shanefelter (aka Uncle Al).

    1. Uncle Al,
      Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot coming from an old pro like you.


  7. My concern with Ms. Kane is if she is able to gather adequate evidence of prosecutorial or investigative misconduct and present it publicly, then that could overtun the Sandusky convictions and create the need for a whole new trial, causing Sandusky to be released pending that new trial. What prosecutor wants to overturn convictions the OAG already got?

    This would be a public relations nightmare for Ms. Kane and something Governor Corbett would jump all over her for being "soft" on child victim crimes and that releasing Sandusky is further harm to the victims. The public would turn on her quickly and the story would be less about the issues with the prosecution and more about her letting Sandusky back among the public or showing him compassion. The overall public view (right or wrong) is that Sandusky is a pedophile and child molestor and should rot in prison for the rest of his life, that is a key anchor as well. Overturning charges related to 1 or 2 victims will not make a difference when there are additional victims. When it comes to child victimization crimes, in the public view, you are guilty until proven innocent. Just read up on the McMartin Pre-school trial from the 80s.

    1. Rums,
      Sandusky isn't going anywhere. The prosecutorial misconduct in this case only applies to certain victims, so many of the other convictions will stand. Also, considering there are 20-30 kids lined up to get settlements from PSU, the state has plenty of new victims to bring forward if the court orders a new trial.

      There is more evidence of crimes than I've shown here. When that other evidence is combined with what is shown, Ms. Kane will not have a problem convincing Pennsylvanians that her decisions regarding the case are the right ones. In fact, they would get her re-elected in a landslide or win any PA office she chooses.

    2. If the US legal system cannot convict someone of a crime without breaking its own laws, then the US citizenry needs to focus on why? What evidence could have been gathered in 1998, in 2001? He said/ she said is not reliable, and none of us should wish for convictions based solely on this.

      Sandusky's days of victimizing kids should be over, regardless of where he lives.

      Going forward, the US public would be better served to focus on solving root problems. Perhaps the millennials can lead this effort.

    3. Becky,
      The prosecutors had to break the law, not to convict Sandusky, but to make the crimes the fault of PSU. Freeh didn't get hired by accident and they were helping the prosecution make their case (Bagwell's e-mails) not only against Sandusky, but the Big 3. This is not a generational issue, it is a money/greed issue -- and a personal score that was settled.