In what can only be called a jaw-dropping move, Penn State has selected former Director of The Second Mile (TSM), Bruce Heim, to represent Army in the coin-toss on Military Appreciation Day. Heim was nominated for the position by alumni-elected Trustee Ryan McCombie, who formerly sat on the Board of AGSM with Heim until 2013.
McCombie, in a statement today, stood by his decision to nominate Heim, citing his military record. Unfortunately, McCombie is ignoring Heim's role in failing to protect children from Jerry Sandusky.
The 2001 "Failure To Report" DecisionIn 2001, former Penn State Athletic Director, Timothy Curley, reported what Mike McQueary had reported to him about Sandusky showering with a child to the Executive Director of TSM, Dr. Jack Raykovitz. Curley also informed Raykovitz that Penn State was banning Sandusky from using the facilities with TSM participants because his behavior was inappropriate.
According to an August 12, 2012, Harrisburg Patriot News report, Heim admitted that he stopped Raykovitz from reporting Sandusky's behavior to the full TSM Board.
“It goes right to the heart of what Tim Curley said to the grand jury, and that is that Tim Curley told him that he didn’t want Jerry Sandusky on campus anymore in the showers, because we were in a day and age where that was inappropriate,” Heim said.
Raykovitz then asked Heim — a local real estate investor and someone who isn’t shy about his loyalty to Penn State, the Paterno family and many of the key players in this scandal — if he should relay this to the full board.
“And I said no,” Heim said.
Heim went on to state that he convinced the TSM executive board to conceal the incident from the full board, therefore stifling any action to stop Sandusky.
“The executive staff knew in 2001, staff and executive board. I stood up in that meeting and said that happened and I told them I advised Jack not to go to the board with it.”
While Dr. Raykovitz had no legal responsibility to report the incident to the full board, both he and Heim had a legal responsibility to report the incident to child protective services.
§ 6311. Persons required to report suspected child abuse.
(a) Mandated reporters.--The following adults shall make a report of suspected child abuse, subject to subsection (b), if the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse:
(1) A person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State.
(7) An individual paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the individual's role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, is a person responsible for the child's welfare or has direct contact with children.
Dr. Raykovitz was a licensed psychologist thus covered under (1). Heim was an unpaid volunteer who provided mentoring to children in TSM's Friend Fitness Program (7). In that role, he had direct contact with children and was responsible for their welfare. Heim also volunteered to mentor a similar program at the Upper Main Line YMCA.
As a psychologist who worked in a child development practice, Raykovitz had absolutely no excuse for not reporting the 2001 incident as suspected child abuse. Moreover, he should have not been reliant upon the advice of Heim, whose expertise is real estate, to make a decision about informing the TSM Board.
As the Executive Director of a youth service organization, Raykovitz had responsibility for the protection of the children in his care. By not taking action against Sandusky in 2001, an untold number of children were subjected to child sexual abuse.
The 2009 DecisionIn the wake of the 2011 grand jury presentment, numerous stories surfaced regarding how the charity's board was kept in the dark about Sandusky. However, the Harrisburg Patriot News reported, on August 12, 2012, that the charity's board made a decision to stay silent about Sandusky's 2009 abuse finding.
Essentially, the decision came down to money. The charity needed Sandusky as their top fundraiser and face of the charity for as long as possible.
“I know the people who run the golf outing said, ‘He’s a big reason why people come — to see him.’ That makes sense, in my opinion. That’s not involved in programming,” said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for his family’s chain of Pennsylvania gas stations and convenience stores.
Sheetz was wrong about Sandusky's involvement in programming.
While the charity made a number of public statements to the effect that they prohibited Sandusky from all programs involving children, the public record shows he took part in children's programs in March 2009 and in the Summer of 2010.
Tragically, the record also shows that at least two children, D.F. and Victim 9 were abused in 2009 after the charity's Board (and Heim) learned of Sandusky's abuse finding.
Bad Decision, Courtesy of Louis Freeh
The University has publicly condemned and made pariahs of individuals who were charged with failing to report Sandusky. Nothing about their cases is proven. They haven't gotten their day in court.
On Saturday, the University will celebrate a man who admitted he stopped a report of Sandusky's conduct from going forward in 2001 and who was part of a charity that actively concealed Sandusky's 2009 abuse finding from the public at large. Both decisions resulted in children being abused.
Ironically, this unfathomable decision, like many others that have caused embarrassment to the University, can be traced back to the Freeh Report.
Had Louis Freeh conducted a complete and thorough investigation, as he was hired and paid $8.5 million to perform, this decision would have never been made.
A real investigation and report would have informed the public about the role of Heim and The Second Mile, among others, in enabling Sandusky's abuse.