- Today at 10:10 AM
You know as well as the rest of the world does that there has not yet been a trial for Spanier, Curley, and Schultz. As such, you really should stop reporting the charges against Spanier, et al, as conclusions and correctly state them as allegations.
This sentence of your column requires a correction:
The trio is facing failure to report and child endangerment charges because they did not take McQueary's report to police or child welfare officials.
Please correct to state:
The trio is facing failure to report and child endangerment charges because they allegedly did not take McQueary's report to child welfare officials.
Also, please note that "to police" should be removed from the sentence because the Commonwealth's August 16, 2016 filing states that Schultz IS a law enforcement official.
Clearly, by the Commonwealth's definition, Curley, and by virtue of the reporting chain, Joe Paterno, reported the 2001 incident to law enforcement.
That certainly takes much of the wind out of the Patriot News' and the NCAA's allegations that PSU athletics was involved in a cover up.
According to the grand jury transcripts read into the record on December 16, 2011, Gary Schultz made seven statements to the effect that he or someone else at PSU reported the incident to child welfare authorities. Again, this testimony is buttressed by an email from Wendell Courtney (see page 84 of the Freeh Report) stating that he believed someone at PSU reported the incident to child welfare.
As I noted in my email to you yesterday, the Commonwealth cannot disprove Schultz's (or Courtney's) assertions. Nor has the Commonwealth ever brought forth a witness from Centre County CYS, such as an intake worker from 2001, that can positively state a report was NOT made. Moreover, the Jarrod Tutko Jr. case and the recent report by PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale buttresses Schultz's argument that a report was or could have been made and "screened out" by child protective services.
My investigation, in which I spoke with families from Centre County, revealed that "screening out" typically occurred when abuse charges were brought against an individual who was previously cleared by CYS for abuse and who had been awarded custody of a child by the Centre County courts.
Obviously, those scenarios would apply to Sandusky because he was approved for several adoptions by the courts, including a contested battle over Matt Sandusky, whom he allegedly molested. Also, CYS cleared him of wrong-doing in 1998 in a case involving TWO boys and during that investigation Sandusky admitted he had similar contact with others.
Given the facts above, it would be highly unlikely for CYS to initiate an investigation of Sandusky in 2001 for a similar incident involving a single (unknown) boy.
Again, look at the Tutko case. Numerous calls from neighbors, emergency room personnel, and teachers in which Dauphin CYS ignored -- resulting in a child paying the ultimate price. Unfortunately, this is typical in Pennsylvania's system.
I understand the Patriot News' desire to continue to promote a narrative of a cover up at PSU because no one ever wants to admit it got its Pulitzer prize winning story wrong. However, the longer your newspaper continues to focus on PSU, the more that children in PA will suffer because of a disastrous child protection system.
I hope you and your newspaper will do the right thing, start reporting the (inconvenient) facts, and finally put the focus where it belongs.