Wednesday, April 26

Puzzling Plea Deals

The guilty pleas of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz do not provide evidence that they knowingly endangered the welfare of a child

Ray Blehar

April 26, 2017, 1:59 PM, EDT

Courtroom observers at the trial of  Dr. Graham Spanier noted that Commonwealth’s witnesses Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz appeared puzzled and at a loss for words to describe what they were guilty of when questioned by defense attorney Sam Silver.

There was a very good reason for their puzzlement because their guilty pleas did not comport with violating the child endangerment statute

Here are the relevant parts of their agreements.

Thursday, April 13

Has Fina reported Eshbach yet?

When Frank Fina got wind of grand jury leaks -- that didn't come from him -- he immediately called on a judge to investigate the matter.

Ray Blehar

April 14, 2017, 12:14 AM EDT
The recent revelations by Mike McQueary that Jonelle Eshbach tipped him that the Sandusky charges were about to be leaked must pose a moral dilemma for Frank Fina.

Back in 2014, Fina wrote a letter to Judge William Carpenter after he learned that Philadelphia Daily News reporter Chris Brennan was in possession of (alleged) grand jury information.

Fina wrote:

" individuals who continue to be sworn to secrecy before the grand jury in question, we have an obligation to disclose this apparent breach of secrecy to the Supervising Judge."

Judge Carpenter happened to be supervising judge of all Pennsylvania grand juries and later assigned a special prosecutor and grand jury to investigate Kane.

Monday, April 10

Law & Evidence Favored the PSU 3

PSU officials could have won their cases had their attorneys stood by Schultz's testimony, the letter of the law, and a few other pieces of evidence

Ray Blehar

April 10, 2017, 10:06 PM EDT

Had former Penn State University officials, Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz not made plea agreements, it is very possible that the PSU 3 could have walked out of Dauphin County Courthouse unscathed.

For that to have happened, Gary Schultz would have taken the stand and stated that he made a report to Centre County Children and Youth Services (CC CYS) in 2001.  Given that the men were being tried together, his testimony would have cleared everyone.

Law & the evidence were on Schultz's side

The law and the evidence were on his and PSU's side -- and there was little chance of the Commonwealth producing evidence to convict any of them.

Schultz: PSU Reported 2001 Incident to CYS

Gary Schultz made numerous statements indicating he believed Centre County CYS was contacted about the 2001 incident - nothing at Spanier's trial changed that

Ray Blehar

April 10, 2017, 9:23 PM, EDT

Here is an excerpt from Gary Schultz's January 12, 2011 pre-grand jury interview memorializing that he believed a report was made to CYS:

When Schultz testified to the grand jury later that day, he repeatedly recalled that a report was made to “the child protective agency” in 2002 (sic).   The 1998 University Park police report confirms that Detective Ronald Schreffler contacted Centre County Children and Youth Services to "look into the matter."

Starting at page 212:

Sunday, April 9

The Leak That Wasn’t

Eshbach believed McQueary would be engulfed by a firestorm by Friday evening – but didn’t know technology would delay it by a day.

Ray Blehar 

April 9, 2017, 8:57 AM EDT 

When former OAG prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach called Mike McQueary on November 4th, 2011 to warn him about an impending leak of grand jury information, she likely believed he was about to be engulfed in a firestorm.

The world was going to find out that a former, stud college quarterback was the world’s biggest coward.

The draft Sandusky grand jury presentment detailing the horrific allegations against the founder of The Second Mile was going to go live on a public web-site – or at least that was the thinking.

Except that it didn’t happen.

Thursday, April 6

Caught In Their Own Trap

Eshbach and Fina set a trap to identify the OAG leakers and it worked.

Ray Blehar  

April 6, 2017, 9:30 PM, EDT

Former OAG prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach testified that she consulted with her then supervisor, Frank Fina, to set a trap to find out who was leaking information to former Harrisburg Patriot News reporter Sara Ganim.

She then told the court, “no one took the bait.”

Of course no one did. 

But the “trap” worked.

Tuesday, April 4

Cipriano/Big Trial: McQueary Blows Whistle On AG's Office


Showers And Leaks: Mike McQueary Blows The Whistle On AG's Office

Alex Brandon/AP
By Ralph Cipriano

At the Graham Spanier trial last month, Mike McQueary, the alleged whistleblower in the Penn State sex abuse case, made a surprising disclosure from the witness stand that backfired on the prosecutors who had called him to testify.

On March 21st, Deputy Attorney General Laura Ditka asked McQueary when he first heard that Jerry Sandusky was going to get arrested. Sandusky is the retired coach that McQueary allegedly saw in the Penn State showers naked with a boy.

It was during a bye week in the 2011 football season, McQueary told Ditka.

"I was on my way to Boston for recruiting and I was going from the F terminal over to the B terminals over in Philadelphia Airport," McQueary said. "And there was one of those little trams. The AGs called," he said, referring to the state attorney general's office. And the AGs, according to McQueary, "said we're going to arrest folks and we are going to leak it out."


Fina Perjury?

It appears that former OAG Prosecutor Frank Fina lied under oath when asked about the leaking of the Sandusky charges/presentment.

Ray Blehar  
h/t Gsindy

April 4, 2017, 7:38 PM, EDT

At Jerry Sandusky's PCRA hearing on August 23, 2016, former OAG prosecutor Frank Fina blamed the leak of the Sandusky charges and presentment on Centre County District Judge Leslie Dutchcot's office.

Given Mike McQueary's revelation that Jonelle Eshbach was behind the leak, it appears that Fina lied under oath.

Tuesday, March 28

Cipriano/ Special Agent Blows Up Case


Special Agent Who Investigated Spanier Blows Up Case

By Ralph Cipriano

What if everything you thought you knew about the so-called Penn State sex abuse scandal wasn't true?
FIS Special Agent John Snedden
What if that infamous locker room incident that Mike McQueary supposedly witnessed 16 years ago -- featuring a naked Jerry Sandusky showering with an underage boy -- had nothing to do with sex? And what if the only two officials at PSU who ever spoke directly to former PSU President Graham Spanier about that incident really did describe it as just "horseplay" and not sex?

And what if the guy advancing this contrarian story line was not some crackpot conspiracy theorist, but a decorated U.S. special agent? A guy who had already done a top-secret federal investigation five years ago into the so-called Penn State scandal but nobody knew about it until now?

There would be no pedophilia scandal at Penn State to cover up. And no trio of top PSU officials to convict of child endangerment. The whole lurid saga starring a naked  Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing little boys in the shower would be fake news. A hoax foisted on the public by an unholy trio of overzealous prosecutors, gullible reporters, and greedy plaintiff's lawyers.

Sunday, March 26

McQueary Truthbomb: Another Version of 2001 Story Uncovered

Mike McQueary Bombshell: Original 2010 police statement reveals another version of his story and the OAG's "Rudy" ruse.

Eileen Morgan


In my July 2015 article, I put forth strong evidence of the theory that former PSU attorney Cynthia Baldwin had retrieved Gary Schultz’s ‘secret’ Sandusky file (that he actually informed her about) and submitted a copy of the file to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) in early January 2011 behind her client’s back, breaching attorney-client privilege. 

At that time Baldwin was representing Penn State’s Gary Schultz, Tim Curley, and Joe Paterno (who soon hired outside counsel) who were being questioned in the Jerry Sandusky investigation about a 2001 incident that was reported to them by Mike McQueary.

The article, if true, lays out a strong case of malpractice by Baldwin and exposes many lies of the state actors relating to the 2001 incident where McQueary walked in on Sandusky and a boy showering at night in the Lasch Building. 

Gary Schultz testified that he told Baldwin that he may have a file in his old office at Penn State and that it would help him to jog his memory if he could look at it. (We later learn the file was indeed right where he told her it was.) She told him that would not be necessary and that he should not retrieve the file or refresh his memory. 

Looking at the evidence produced in my article, it certainly appears that Baldwin retrieved the file, made a copy and gave that copy to the OAG.  At this point it seems the PSU men were no longer being looked at to help prosecute Sandusky but rather be prosecuted themselves.

If Baldwin did give Schultz’s file to the OAG then they had the approximate date of the 2001 incident: February 12, 2001.  And they definitely knew the year.

The file included communications, notes, and emails regarding the 2001 incident that was reported by McQueary to Joe Paterno. Paterno then reported it to Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, and the latter two in turn reported it to Graham Spanier. Looking at the notes, out of context, the OAG felt the PSU men may have failed to report or even covered up the 2001 incident.  The OAG was now not only investigating Sandusky but Schultz, Curley, Paterno, and Spanier as well.

Saturday, March 25

McQueary Becomes Real Whistleblower

While still unreported by the media, the biggest news coming from the first day of trial testimony was that Mike McQueary blew the whistle on the Sandusky grand jury leaker.

Ray Blehar

On the first day of trial testimony in the trial of Dr. Graham Spanier, Mike McQueary stumbled while testifying and let slip that the Office of Attorney General (OAG) former informed him that they were going to leak information about the impending Sandusky charges.

Maribeth Roman Schmidt, spokesperson for PS4RS was in the courtroom when McQueary made the statement.  

She wrote:

Forgot to mention the shocker of the day!! While Mike McQueary was on the stand, as the prosecution asked him when/where he was when he heard Sandusky was arrested, he answered that the OAG called him to tell him they were about to leak the GJ presentment. He caught himself as soon as he said it and the prosecutor jumped right to him being in the Phila airport seeing his picture all over the news. I kid you not. Heard it with my own ears and saw him catch himself with my own eyes. It must be in the court transcripts

Friday, March 24

Inane Spanier Conviction a Temporary Set Back

The jury’s impossible verdict that Spanier supervised and endangered an unknown child will be overturned on appeal and the fight will continue

Ray Blehar

Over the last week pieces of the truth were revealed, however the false narrative of a Penn State cover-up by the Harrisburg Patriot news and national media were too pervasive for a Dauphin County jury to completely exonerate former PSU President Dr. Graham Spanier.

The jury reached a guilty verdict that did not comport with the elements of the Endangering the Welfare of Children (EWOC) statute.   Specifically, they found that Dr. Spanier was responsible for the welfare of a child who has yet to be identified. 

The child, known as Victim 2, could not possibly be tied to being supervised by anyone other than Jerry Sandusky because (allegedly) he is unknown. 

They tendered the verdicts around 4:00 PM – likely choosing their weekend plans over reaching the legally correct verdict.

Thursday, March 23

Trial: Curley Blows Up Key Freeh Finding

Tim Curley's testimony that he and he alone altered a prior reporting plan blows apart Freeh's conclusion that Sandusky would have been reported if not for Paterno's intervention

Ray Blehar

Former Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley testified yesterday that legendary former coach Joe Paterno did not advise him to change anything about a plan that he and Gary Schultz developed in response to the 2001 report of Sandusky showering with a boy.

Curley's testimony refutes former FBI Director Louis Freeh's "reasonable conclusion" that Paterno changed the plan. 

Freeh's conclusion was based on an unauthenticated email in which Curley purported wrote:

"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday -- I am uncomfortable with what we had agreed were the next steps."

Freeh leaped to the conclusion that Paterno was responsible for convincing Curley to not report Sandusky to authorities.  In a nationwide press conference Freeh stated:

"Based on the evidence, the only known, intervening factor between the decision made on February 25, 2001 by Messrs. Spanier, Curley and Schulz to report the incident to the Department of Public Welfare, and then agreeing not to do so on February 27th, was Mr. Paterno’s February 26th conversation with Mr. Curley."

Curley's testimony adds to the evidence of that the Freeh Report was incomplete and inaccurate. 

Tuesday, March 21

Opinion: Spanier's Opening Statement

If put in the role of Spanier's defense attorney, here is what I would tell the jury tomorrow.

Ray Blehar

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

In the case you will hear, the Commonwealth wants you to find Dr. Graham Spanier guilty for the inactions of others who were legally required to protect children from Jerry Sandusky.

When Penn State University officials learned of Sandusky showering with children in 1998, the police and child welfare officials conducted a full investigation of the matter.

Mr. Jerry Lauro, a program assistant with the Department of Public Welfare Children and Youth Services in Harrisburg, learned early in the 1998 investigation that Sandusky had showered with TWO children and had given each of them bear hugs while naked.  

One of these boys later became known as Victim 6 because of Sandusky's conduct in the shower.

Later in the investigation, Mr. Lauro interviewed Jerry Sandusky.  Sandusky admitted he had done the same thing with other children.

Mr. Lauro’s role in the 1998 investigation was to determine if it was safe for Sandusky to be around children. 

He failed.

Tuesday, March 14

Why Plea? And Why Now?

There are several explanations why Curley and Schultz copped pleas on the eve of the trial – and the law isn’t one of them.

Ray Blehar

Today’s plea deals by former Penn State University (PSU) officials Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz could be explained by a number of scenarios – however the law isn’t one of them.


As reported here, the Office of Attorney General (OAG) had an almost impossible task of proving the four requirements of the Endangering the Welfare of a Child (EWOC) statute.   

In the triggering 2001 incident,  the OAG cannot prove that PSU officials had a duty of care to the unknown victim or the age of the victim. Next, the evidence is overwhelming that Sandusky was not a PSU employee and was not under the supervision of PSU officials.  Finally, it cannot prove that PSU officials had any reason to believe that Curley’s report of the incident to The Second Mile would not result in protective action by the charity. Those facts nullify the possibility of an EWOC conviction.

If the EWOC conviction fails, so does the conspiracy to commit it.  

Monday, February 27

Is Josh Shapiro Part of the Problem?

Josh Shapiro's words and actions reveal that he is part of the problem -- not part of the solution

Ray Blehar

Shortly after newly elected Attorney General (AG) Josh Shapiro was sworn in he made the following statements in an attempt to show he was not corrupt and dishonest like some of the other elected AG’s that came before him. 

AG Shapiro stated:

"Let me be very clear, anyone who tries to roll back your rights will have to come through me. 

"And, I won't be afraid to stand up to anyone--whether it's the President of the United States, a multi-national corporation, or someone on the street corner." 

The statement was a smokescreen.

Monday, February 20

David J. Paterno: Power vs. Popular

Debunking the First of Freeh’s Overarching Faulty Premises

David J. Paterno

More than four years have passed since Penn State’s Board of Trustees’ (BOT’s) Special Investigative Counsel (SIC) purchased a report from Louis Freeh. While that report contained some good recommendations – especially regarding the size and makeup of the BOT - many scholars have pointed out its shortcomings and its unsubstantiated claim that four employees, including Joe Paterno (JVP), behaved with malicious intent.

My family continues to petition and ask PSU leaders to read and evaluate for themselves how little Freeh’s conclusions about JVP are supported with any facts. More confounding than the lack of facts are several overarching premises contained in the Freeh report that set the tone for his unsubstantiated claims. By allowing such false premises, the reader is set up for accepting unsupported conclusions.

The first faulty premise is that JVP “controlled everything / knew everything that happened at PSU.”  This premise conflates Power with Popularity.

 There is a huge difference between Power and Popularity and if we are not careful, we can forget how very different these things are – especially with respect to running a large institution like PSU. Freeh chose to ignore this clear difference - and in fact, equated them as being the same to vilify JVP.

This matters because it is one of several incorrect overarching premises of the Freeh Report, which gives Freeh’s conspiracy theory illegitimate credibility in falsely damaging our alma mater’s reputation.

Yes, “conspiracy theory” because it is – at best  – a stretching hypothesis that four men were involved in a conspiracy to conceal and cover up criminal activity.

Until PSU comes to terms with the damage they have done by accepting the incorrect opinion of Louis Freeh, they will not be able to recover some of the greatest qualities of PSU’s history that could be, and ought to be, leveraged into its future. 

Joe Paterno was popular.  He was well known, widely respected, and influential. 

Was he an all-powerful man controlling everything at PSU as Freeh suggests?

Not even close.

Wednesday, February 15

Evidence in 2001 Twisted, Tainted, and Incomplete

The case against PSU officials was built on an incomplete record that was twisted and manipulated by prosecutors to frame PSU officials.  The prosecutor's work was good enough to create a massive conspiracy theory that fooled nearly everyone.

Ray Blehar

The evidence in the so-called Conspiracy of Silence case strongly indicates that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG), Cynthia Baldwin, and the Freeh Group engaged in a series of intentional misrepresentations in order to make the case of a criminal conspiracy surrounding an alleged failure to report Jerry Sandusky in 2001.

Information is power and in this case information was selectively used, withheld, and reorganized to convince an all too willing public that PSU officials were evil people who put the football program above the welfare of children. 

Among these misrepresentations were: all reports of child abuse are investigated; the contents of Gary Schultz’s so-called secret file all belonged to Schultz; that Schultz reviewed the 1998 police report before deciding to act; that the suggestions to get Sandusky help were based solely on the 1998 and 2001 incidents; and several others. 

Again, this was good enough to fool almost everyone who didn’t critically look at the information and evidence in the case.

But here’s what happens when those misrepresentations get a dose of reality.

Sunday, February 12

PSU’s appeal of the McQueary verdict alleges judicial bias

PSU’s legal team says what should have been said all along – its employees were not legally required to report Sandusky in 2001.

Ray Blehar

Penn State University’s (PSU) legal counsel, after over six years of avoidance and obfuscation, finally stood up for itself and called out the court for its (continuing) bias against the University.  For many of PSU’s loyal alumni, the big news was that PSU finally argued that former officials Graham Spanier, Timothy Curley, and Gary Schultz were not mandated reporters under the child abuse reporting statute in 2001.

That is one among many of the appeal issues – although it one of the most important for setting the record straight -- and outing Pennsylvania's corrupt legal system.

The recent filings cite a number of instances in which Judge Thomas Gavin was unfair in his rulings and was biased in favor of former PSU assistant football coach, Michael McQueary. 

Sunday, February 5

What the jury must decide for EWOC charge.

While there were many irregularities in the Sandusky trial, Judge Cleland's instructions on the EWOC charge wasn't one of them.

Ray Blehar

The case of the PSU 3 has come down to the charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (EWOC) and related conspiracy. 

If Judge Boccabella instructs the jury in the same manner as Judge Cleland, the outcome should bode well for the defendants -- if the jurors follow the letter of the law.

In the Sandusky case, Cleland instructed the jurors on the four elements that had to be met for EWOC.  In my previous, blog I called it a three-prong test -- failing to include the fourth requirement that a child must be involved.

Here were Cleland's instructions.

Wednesday, February 1

FTR Charges Against PSU 3 Dropped, But Sham Case Rolls On

Judge Boccabella’s ruling is part of the Commonwealth’s continued effort to deflect attention away from problems in PA’s child protection system

Ray Blehar

In a two page ruling that was lacking much in the way of rationales, Senior Judge John Boccabella dismissed the Failure To Report (FTR) charges against former Penn State University (PSU) officials Graham Spanier, Timothy Curley, and Gary Schultz while (literally) inexplicably carrying over the charges of Endangering the Welfare of Children (EWOC) and Conspiracy over for court.

This case dragged on for five years under a number of false arguments that PSU officials had failed to report Jerry Sandusky to the authorities after a report of inappropriate behavior in 2001. 

Tuesday, January 24

CNN, #FakeNews, and Witch Hunts


CNN has a history of using #FakeNews to conduct blame-shifting witch hunts.

Ray Blehar

On January 10th, then President Elect Donald Trump accurately characterized reports of “potentially damaging information” that Russia possessed about him as “FAKE NEWS” and that story was “A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.”

As the old saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.