Pennsylvania has nothing on bizarro world.
After reading the lunacy of Jennifer Storm's Op-Ed on Monday, I thought we'd seen the depths of insanity.
I was wrong.
Yesterday, former AG candidate (loser) David Freed and the PA District Attorneys association rebuked current AG Kathleen Kane for her "attacks" on Sandusky prosecutors Frank Fina and Joe McGettigan. The notion that Kane "attacked" the prosecutors is a "strawman." In other words, a misrepresentation or exaggeration of the facts.
This so-called attack consisted of ONE misstatement by Kane that a victim who was abused during the lagging Sandusky investigation was not one of the victims presented at the trial. While this was a mistake, it was hardly an attack on prosecutors.
The Moulton report went exceptionally light on the prosecutors, stating the decisions made in the investigation were within their prosecutorial discretion. However, the report cited numerous inexplicable delays in the investigation. For example, the failure to obtain search warrants and the failure to establish a multi-disciplinary team -- the latter is required by statute.
DA's Backing of ProsecutorsFreed contradicted his own campaign promise to investigate the Sandusky case in this passage of his Op-Ed (hat tip, JimmyW).
"Although we never perceived a need for the investigation recently concluded by Geoffrey Moulton, a former prosecutor and an associate professor at Widener University School of Law, into the conduct of the Sandusky prosecution, we certainly agree that the report was seriously undertaken, professionally written, and measured in its conclusions."
Freed and the DAs apparently believe the successful prosecution of Sandusky and that Sandusky will be in jail the rest of his life outweighs the fact that two chiildren were abused while Sandusky was under investigation.
It appears that this group is also too interested in "winning the news cycle" than they are to actually check the facts of the case. Instead, they are willing to blindly stand behind the admonitions of Fina and McGettigan, who claim there was uncertainty about the dates of the Victim 9 crimes and that the other case was couldn't be prosecuted because the victim wasn't credible.
Accusing a victim of not being credible is quite rich coming from Frank Fina and Joe McGettigan - especially when making claims about dates (and locations of crimes).
Again, I am sure the DA's association and the media, particularly Angela Columbus at the Inquirer and Charles Thompson of the Patriot News, haven't a clue about the changes to dates and locations of crimes during the Sandusky prosecution.
If they had known, I suspect it wouldn't have made a difference. The truth was the other "victim" in the Sandusky case.
Prosecutors Changes to Dates and Locations of CrimesWhile child victims are given considerable latitude in recalling the dates of their abuse, the changes to the Bills of Particulars in the Sandusky case reek of manipulation. The dates for Victims 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9 all changed considerably between the grand jury, the Bills of Particulars, and the trial. The Victim 5, 8, and 9 cases are especially troubling.
Viictim 8 was the unknown victim who was allegedly seen by the janitor. Here's the essential details.
Grand Jury: Abused in Fall 2000, in Assistant Coaches Locker Room.
BoP 1: Abused Fall 2000, in Assistant Coaches Locker Room
BoP 2: Abused on Nov 20-27, 2000, in Assistant Coaches Locker Room.
Trial Testimony: Abused on a Thursday or Friday on either the weekend of September 23, 2000 or the weekend of November 11, 2000 in Staff Locker Room
Analysis: The change to the location was due to the defense raising the issue of an obstruction blocking the view, as testified to by the hearsay witness at the grand jury. In order to solve the problem, Fina moved the location to the obstruction free Staff Locker Room. The date it occurred is anyone's guess, however, adults are allegedly held to a higher standard of recall than children. That didn't happen here.
Victim 5 was a boy who met Sandusky in 1995 or 1996 around age 8. As with most of the Sandusky victims, his grand jury testimony revealed he met Sandusky in his first year of camp then Sandusky began associating with him shortly afterward. At Here are the essential details:
Grand Jury: Abused once in 1998 in the East Area Locker Room.
BoP1: Multiple abuse incidents from 1996 to 2002 in East Area Locker Room.
BoP2: Single incident in Lasch Building in August 2001.
Trial Testimony: Single incident in Lasch Building in August 2001.
Analysis: The 2001 date does not fit Sandusky's pattern of meeting a child and taking him to work out within the first two years of contact. The location change is also troubling, given the Lasch Building and the East Area Locker Room are of completely different architectures. FYI: Spanier, Curley and Schultz are being prosecuted for Endangering the Welfare of Children for this victim.
Victim 9 came forward after the initial November 4, 2011 grand jury presentment. His dates also fluctuate considerably. Here are the essential details:
Grand Jury: Abused from 2004 to 2008.
BoP1: Abused from summer 2005 and 2009 when he was age 13 to 15/16.
BoP2: Abused July 2005 to December 2008 when he was age 12 to 15.
Trial Testimony: Under direct examination said his abuse took place until he was 15 or 16. Under cross examination, Victim 9 definitively stated abuse stopped at age 16.
Analysis: The December 2008 date conveniently absolves the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and the OAG and PSP from any blame for abuse that took place while Sandusky was under investigation. Under the Public Welfare Code, the county agency was required to work with Second Mile to put a protection plan in place while Sandusky was under investigation. That didn't happen.
Victim 2 is probably the most famous date change in the case, from the McQueary incident. Here are the essential details:
Grand Jury: Abused on the Friday before Spring break in 2002.
BoP1: March 1, 2002.
BoP2: February 9, 2001.
Trial Testimony: February 9, 2001.
Analysis: Agent Sassano testified that TV Guides were used to set the date. The Moulton report stated a thumbdrive containing PSU's emails was provided to the police in July 2011. Logic dictates that the emails, which included discussions of the McQueary incident, were used to set the date. The emails were received before charges were filed, thus the OAG ignored them and used McQueary's incorrect date of 2002 for the purpose of charging PSU officials with failure to report. Had they used the 2001 date for this crime, it would have fallen outside the statute of limitations.
Victim 3's case was simply all over the place. Here are the essential details:
Grand Jury: Abused during 2000 in the PSU gym and Sandusky's home.
BoP1: Abused from late summer to late 2000 in Sandusky's home and the Lasch Building.
BoP2: Abused July 1999 to December 2001.
Trial Testimony: Abused while Sandusky was an active coach in 1999.
Analysis: Despite manipulation of the dates, the victim testified that his contact with Sandusky was while he was an active coach and sometime into the year 2000. Sandusky retired in December 1999. FYI: Spanier, Curley and Schultz are being prosecuted for Endangering the Welfare of Children for this victim.
Victim 1's case also reveals discrepancies in the dates. Victim 1's grand jury testimony was that he met Sandusky in 2004 or 2005 and didn't begin spending time with him until the 2007 track season.
Grand Jury: Abused during 2007 and 2008.
BoP1: Abused from 2005 to 2008.
BoP 2: Abused between June 2005 and September 2008.
Trial Testimony: Testified to meeting Sandusky in 2004 and got to know him better in the second or third year - 2005 or 2006. Began staying at his house then. Fisher reported Sandusky's abuse in November 2008.
Analysis/Additional Informtion: Despite Fisher stating he met Sandusky at age 10 in 2004 and didn't get to know him until two or three years later, McGettigan repeatedly asked Fisher if he was abused at age 10.
The information above is all on the public record and it shows that any statements about the dates of crimes by Fina and McGettigan should be taken with a grain of salt.
Date changes were just the tip of the iceberg in the Sandusky prosecution.
More Irregularities at the TrialIf you want to take these men at their word, before doing so you should know that they coached one of the witnesses into claiming he was of belly-button height on Sandusky when he was 14 years old. The Center for Disease Control height and weight chart reveals that a child of that height would be off the chart at the low end. In addition, photographic evidence revealed that particular victim was at Sandusky's shoulder height one year later (that would equate to a growth spurt of approximately 20 inches -- again, off the charts).
You can read more about other irregularities at the Sandusky trial here starting on page 48.
There was a lot more to this trial than convictions on 45 of 48 counts and those who have pointed to the Sandusky case as a successful prosecution may eventually end up eating their words.