Monday, March 17

Morgan: Was 2001 incident really uncovered by an anonymous e-mail tip?

The relationships between The Second Mile and then-AG Tom Corbett raise serious doubts about Chris Houser's e-mail being the "big break" that uncovered the 2001 incident.

Eileen Morgan

The most recent investigation of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child abuse began in November 2008 which led to his arrest 3 years later in November 2011 and eventually ended with a conviction in June 2012.
Former AG Tom Corbett

Many have questioned why it took then-Attorney General Tom Corbett so long to make an arrest and take Sandusky off the streets.  It has been speculated that Corbett was dragging his feet and delaying the arrest for political reasons and because many affluent people connected to Sandusky’s non-profit foundation, the Second Mile, were financially supporting Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010. Corbett did not want the bad publicity that Sandusky’s arrest would bring to the Second Mile and possibly taint his run for governor.

After two years of going nowhere, Corbett’s team allegedly received the break they needed that blew this case wide open and resulted in Sandusky’s arrest in 2011.

The Big Break
We have been told that this ‘big break’ in the 2 year old probe just happened to come on November 3, 2010, one day after Corbett won the gubernatorial election.  

An anonymous e-mailer apparently claimed he learned about the Mike McQueary 2001 shower incident in an online chatroom and passed this information on to District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.  Discovering this 2001 incident led the investigators to McQueary and eventually to Sandusky’s arrest.

As we recently learned, the anonymous tipster was a man named Chris Houser.  But was this Houser's email really the ‘big break’ Corbett and the OAG needed to make the case?  

Or, had the OAG known about the 2001 incident since early in the investigation? 

The Second Mile (TSM) Knew About Sandusky Investigation in 2008
When you review the timeline of information learned in this investigation, it is more likely that the 2001 incident was already known and the OAG simply sat on this information. 

Dr. Jack Raykovitz.
Second Mile Executive Director
According to this  PennLive, August 2012 article, 1

"On Nov. 25, 2008, Jerry Sandusky told Second Mile Director Jack Raykovitz that he had been accused of something inappropriate by a Clinton County boy.  

Raykovitz, a well-known and respected child psychologist in central Pennsylvania, immediately removed Sandusky from all events involving children, and strongly urged him to stay away from children outside of charity functions, too.’"

A November 15, 2011, PennLive article2 stated: 

"Second Mile executive Katherine Genovese (wife of Jack Raykovitz) told a person in authority that the charity already had concerns about Sandusky and certain boys.  That conversation is said to have occurred in late 2008 around the same time that a Clinton County boy came forward with detailed allegations of sexual abuse. He became Victim One in the grand jury investigation."

And finally, this Huffington Post article3 claims that Gerald Rosamilia, the Director of Clinton County's child welfare agency (CYS) where the 2008 investigation began, said Raykovitz's wife told him in November 2008 that Sandusky had been spoken to about getting "too close" to children involved with the charity. Gerald Rosamilia said Raykovitz's wife, Katherine Genovese, who helped run The Second Mile, did not define what was meant by "too close" or give a timeframe.  Raykovitz defended himself in a telephone interview, saying he acted appropriately at all times. "There have always been steps in place to protect kids," he said.’

PennLive Covers For TSM's Failures to Protect Kids
The claims made by PennLive regarding TSM taking steps to remove Sandusky from all events involving children were patently false -- and they knew it.  In the earliest article written about the Sandusky scandal, PennLive wrote that Sandusky retired from the charity in the fall of 2010 and was stepping away from "day-to-day" activities.

Pennsylvania's Public Welfare Code requires that if anyone associated with a child care agency is accused, the agency must be notified and then work with CYS to put a protection plan in place.  However, Clinton County child welfare (CYS) director, Rosamilia, told The Patriot-News4 that ‘he did not believe a safety plan was necessary.’

This happened, as well, in 1998 when Sandusky was investigated in Centre County for suspected child abuse.  The same article says: ‘In that case, Jerry Lauro, the DPW investigator, said he would have put a safety plan in place if he felt it was necessary.  Sources close to the charity say no safety plan was implemented in either 1998 or 2008.’

Ray Blehar points out in this blog post5 that Sandusky continued to be around kids after the investigation was launched in 2008 and that he abused Victim 9 from 2005 into 2009, after the probe began.  PennLive has continued to cover up that children were harmed during the Sandusky investigation, as Charles Thompson's article truncated the end date of Sandusky's crimes as 2008, and not 2009.

While PennLive has made some mention of DPW and CYS's failures in establishing protection plans, they have not reported on the TSM children who were put in harm's way after November 2008.

Did TSM Tell Corbett about the 2001 Incident?
It is well documented that TSM board members donated over $200,000 to Corbett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.  It was also reported  that Bob Poole, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TSM (1995-2012), held a fundraiser in 2010 at his home for Corbett.  Given the close relationship between Corbett and TSM officials, it is highly probable that the Sandusky case would have undoubtedly come up in conversation.

However, according to this PennLive article6, ‘Corbett’s press secretary, Kevin Harley, dismisses any suggestion of impropriety regarding the fundraiser Poole held for Corbett.

Furthermore, Harley said,Nobody was aware, other than the governor and people in the attorney general’s office, of the (2008) investigation.”

Poole, however, said he did know about it.
In his email, Poole said that “to the best of my recollection, I first learned in 2008 or 2009 that authorities were investigating Mr. Sandusky.”’

Second Mile Knew About 2001 and Most  Likely 1998
It has been well established that back in 2001 Mike McQueary reported the shower incident to PSU Athletic Director Tim Curley who reported the incident to TSM Executive Director Jack Raykovitz, who in turn relayed the incident to Second Mile Chairman Robert E. Poole and board member Bruce Heim.  Raykovitz recalled meeting with Sandusky about the incident and, astonishingly, told him to consider wearing swim trunks when showering with children.

Although TSM denies knowing about the 1998 investigation, it is highly probable that TSM received a status notification at the end of the investigation, which was required under the Public Welfare Code.   So, are Second Mile leaders lying about their lack of knowledge about 1998 or did CYS fail to not only put a safety plan in place, but make the required notfications?

Did Second Mile Alert OAG of 2001 and 1998 Incidents?
It is clear from the articles that TSM’s Raykovitz and Genovese were well aware of the 2008 investigation into Sandusky.  It is likely that they were contacted by the Pennsylvania State Police early in the Sandusky investigation and would have revealed their knowledge of the 2001 incident to investigators.  That information would likely have been turned over to the Office of Attorney General (OAG) when the investigation was transferred to them in March 2009.
Therefore, if and when the OAG spoke with Raykovitz concerning the allegations against Sandusky in 2008, wouldn’t Raykovitz have mentioned the 2001 and 1998 incidents?  

After all, this man is in charge of a foundation that cares for the welfare of at-risk children and it would have been his duty to disclose all related information about Sandusky. 
In addition, in the article above Raykovitz claims he acted appropriately at all times and that there are ‘steps in place to protect kids.’  So, even if the OAG did not contact him, it would seem to be his legal responsibility and moral obligation to inform the investigators about every inappropriate incident that had come to Second Mile’s attention regarding Sandusky throughout the years. 

Given that the Director and Chairman of the Second Mile were well aware of the 2001 incident and that they knew about the 2008 investigation early on, it is difficult to believe that the 2001 incident was not made known to Corbett and the OAG before the ‘big break.’

Perhaps Raykovitz did not inform the OAG in 2008 of the 2001 and 1998 incidents.  If not, therein lies a cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes by the Second Mile, a foundation where it seems some have no concern at all to act appropriately or to protect kids.

Was OAG Sitting on Information?
We also learned in Aaron Fisher’s book, Silent No More, Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach told Mike Gillum in June 2009 about the 1998 incident.  However, the investigators did not get the 1998 police file from PSU until January 2011

There certainly seems to be a pattern of the OAG withholding information regarding the 1998 and 2001 incidents during their three year probe of Sandusky.

So again I ask: was the 2010 anonymous email tip about the 2001 incident really the ‘big break’ the OAG needed to arrest Sandusky due to a Second Mile cover-up of 2001?  Or, had the OAG known about the 2001 incident all along, delaying Sandusky’s arrest for years, only to ‘discover’ it after Corbett’s victory?

It appears that the e-mail tip was a "lucky break" that gave Corbett and the OAG "cover" to act on a lead they had been sitting on for over two years.  

It also appears that the corruption and deception in this investigation doesn't lie with the PSU officials facing charges -- but rather with the the Governor, his sycophants at PennLive, the former OAG officials, and the inner circles of TSM and the PSU Board of Trustees.


  1. Ms. Morgan

    If the trial outcome(s), dove tails with the Moulton investigation, and the fed investigation into Second Mile finds corruption. Julius Corbett will be saying et tu Brutus to Fina, BOT etc,etc. The layers of the onion are being peeled thanks to you and Blehar etc.

    1. I think you're on to something. My gut feel is that Corbett; and his henchmen, felt that either Curley, Schultz or Spanier would turn on the others as they waited for their day in court. That plan doesn't seem to be working. With Kane's investigation comes to light, I bet the opposite isn't true. I've got money the rats will be doing whatever they can to save themselves. This should be entertaining.

  2. Eileen, so much rides on current investigations and the Paternos' lawsuit. Yet the same politics, big money, and power-wielding that produced the "Penn State Scandal" are still at work. They have to be. They're now fighting for their own lives.

    So... are you and your allies building a substantial Plan B that can kick in quickly if the ongoing investigations stumble?

  3. Great work Eileen! I have been saying this from the beginning. Joe or the football program could not be harmed by what a former Asst Coach did, but TSMP could.

  4. It sounds like if Raykovitz and wife, Heim, and Poole were informed, then everyone with financial dealings with them would know. When Curley told them to keep their kids off campus, it must have sent ripples. Everyone around McQueary seems to have heard about it directly or second hand. By April, 2001 it is probable that over 100 people knew ( and McQueary got the month and year wrong in his GJ testimony??? )

    Looks like Corbett had his lackies in the OAG and Patriot News order up a stampede to divert attention away from the gang of Corbett, Surma, Peetz, and Frazier robbing the bank. They never figured that someone would put a posse together to hunt them down. Get a rope!

  5. In discussing wrongful convictions in the March 18 LA Times, USC Journalism professor and LA Times science writer K.C. Cole states: "Eyewitness misidentification is the culprit in 70% of overturned cases. Memory, an obvious aspect of eyewitness evidence, is just as insidious. " I remember what I saw" is a misleading illusion. And despite what instinct tells you, those who tell very detailed and consistent stories are more likely to be liars than those who are uncertain or contradictory. Memory is malleable. It can be easily "primed" or implanted, especially when statements are heard again and again. After a while, familiarity is not easily distinguishable from truth."

    MM's "forgetting" the month and year of the shower incident was always suspect. He was well coached by Frank Fina and had dozens of people to consult with over what he told them and when. It was actual V2 who set the correct date when he came to Amendola. MM obviously did a lot of lying and obfuscation to cover his gambling and sexual affairs. A habitual and perhaps pathological liar. It also appears that Frank Fina played more than a few "mind games" with his witnesses.

    1. Actually, Victim 2 got the date wrong in his interview in Amendola's office on November 9, 2011 (Don Van Natta reported this incorrectly). In Victim 2's interview with Curtis Everhart, he stated "The day was March 1, 2002, I am very positive." Later in the interview, Victim 2 stated that March 1, 2002 was the last time he and Jerry showered in the Lasch Building.

      While I believe that this person likely is Victim 2, I find this interview to be less than compelling proof that Victim 2 was the person in the shower on February 9, 2001. There is the possibility that Sandusky had discussed the incident with this individual and coached him about what to say. Another inconsistency is that he stated that Sandusky told him right after (within a week of) the incident that Curley would be calling him to discuss it. However, the record shows that Curley didn't speak with Sandusky that week.

      Victim 2 is a victim, but perhaps not the victim McQueary saw that night.

    2. Nothing makes sense here. If V2 got the date wrong, then it had to be Sandusky himself who gave the correct date. Multiple witnesses stated that they did not see Sandusky with a child on campus after 2001, and I don't think Sandusky even considered bringing a child on campus after his confrontation with Curley. Insideous memory? Yes, ten years is a very long time. To expect the brain to accurately retrieve details is ridiculous.

    3. The correct date was established from the e-mail evidence and later confirmed by Schultz's notes.

      I agree that Sandusky adhered to the prohibition after discussion with Curley and that the change of the date by Victim 5 was at the request of prosecutors (to bolster EWOC charge).

      Also agree that 10 years is a long time to remember details. Memory is influenced by outside factors and incorporates wrong information.

      As for the Victim 2 statement, I just don't see it containing any compelling evidence for it to be conclusive that he was the person in the shower that night.

  6. Gregory Vernon - You are so right about memory being easily influenced. If the Spanier case ever goes to trial, he will be at a disadvantage because PA is one of the few states that do not allow scientific experts to testify about the shortcomings of eyewitness testimony and the nature of human memory.

    There were arguments before the PA Supreme Court in March, 2012 asking that PA allow such experts to testify but the court has yet to issue a decision. That case is PA vs. Benjamin Walker.

    A decision favorable to Walker could have an impact on the Spanier trial.