Wednesday, May 31

Raykovitz, Others Should Have Faced EWOC Charges

Ample evidence reveals that Dr. Jack Raykovitz and others knowingly endangered the welfare of children by turning a blind eye to Sandusky's continued contact with children after January 2009 

By
Ray Blehar
May 31, 2017; 10:11 AM

During former Penn State University (PSU) president Graham Spanier’s trial for Endangering the Welfare of Children (EWOC) and related conspiracy, Dr. Jack Raykovitz testified about Jerry Sandusky’s role at The Second Mile (TSM) charity and the 2001 incident on the PSU campus.

The Commonwealth tried to portray Sandusky as simply the figurehead of TSM and Raykovitz, for the most part played along.  He made two false statements under oath regarding Sandusky’s contact with children through the charity.   

Sandusky’s Role in Children’s Programs

Raykovitz (falsely) testified that Sandusky was not part of any therapy or programs at the charity and that he mostly gave speeches to kids or addressed groups.

That testimony was rebutted by Wendell Courtney on the first day of the trial.

Courtney testified (at 181) that Sandusky was involved in TSM’s fitness programs (i.e., Friend Fitness) and mentoring programs.


Moreover, numerous victims testified during the Sandusky played with them in the swimming pool during TSM’s Summer Challenge (i.e., summer camps) programs.  In addition, defense witnesses at the trial testified that Sandusky served as a mentor to them.  

TSM counselors and volunteers also confirmed that Sandusky’s mentorship of teen boys was well known by nearly everyone at the charity.  One stated that Sandusky would usually appear at Summer Challenge camp every evening – when it was time for the swimming activity -- with the teen he was mentoring in tow.

It is almost certain that Ditka knew Raykovitz was being untruthful about this subject – and a few others during his testimony.

Access to Children after January 2009

Interestingly, Raykovitz later contradicted his first statement when he told another lie under direct questioning by Laura Ditka.  
Ditka asked about the charity’s actions after Clinton County Children and Youth Services (Clinton CYS) called TSM about an abuse complaint in 2008.   Raykovitz responded that the charity “separated him from all programs after that call.” 



Sandusky lost his ChildLine clearance to work with children in January 2009.  
A ChildLine clearance (i.e., background check) is required for employees and volunteers who have routine interaction with children.  Routine interaction is defined as regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.
Raykovitz’s testimony that Sandusky did not have access to kids in TSM after the November 2008 phone call was clearly false based on ample evidence in the public domain.  

News Reports

The most well-known account of Sandusky’s role at the charity after his abuse finding was penned by Sara Ganim in August 2012.  Ganim wrote a five-part series on TSM’s response to the Sandusky abuse investigation.   She quoted then-TSM board member Louis Sheetz, who explained Sandusky’s role at the charity after he “resigned” in 2009:

“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.

Those who attended golf outings reported that it was typical for one of the children Sandusky was mentoring to be riding next to him in the golf cart.   That would seemingly qualify for access to children at a sanctioned event or program.

Here are additional accounts of Sandusky’s fundraising role and contact with children after January 2009.
 A news report from The Progress, a local news outlet serving Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, and Moshannon Valley, reported that Sandusky would be speaking at the Clearfield County Chapter of The Second Mile's all-sports banquet to be held on March 1, 2009.  





































From the article:

“Dinner will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria before those in attendance move to the auditorium where The Second Mile founder Jerry Sandusky will speak, and the players will share stories about their journeys to becoming collegiate student-athletes.”


A November 2011, KDKA Pittsburgh news report revealed allegations from a mother that Sandusky was present at TSM’s Summer Challenge Camp in 2010. 





The Allentown Morning Call reported Sandusky also attended a celebrity banquet and fundraiser in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania just months after being "indicated."  Sandusky also attended that banquet in 2010.

Whether or not crimes were committed after Raykovitz knew of Sandusky's abuse investigation is irrelevant to the EWOC statute.  As such, by allowing Sandusky continued access to children and not completely severing Sandusky from the charity, he was knowingly endangering children.



Sandusky’s Crimes after 2009

There is some dispute over whether or not Sandusky victimized children after being “indicated” for abuse in 2009.   Two individuals, Victim 9 and D.F., are on the public record that they were victimized after 2008 and perhaps into 2009.  

Victim 9
Victim 9 testified that he was in contact with Sandusky and was victimized through his sixteenth birthday that occurred on July 29, 2009. 



Earlier direct testimony at the trial revealed that Victim 9 equivocated when asked when the abuse ended, stating he was 15 or 16.    However, he was definitive under cross-examination (above).   Victim 9’s civil lawsuit stated he was victimized past his sixteenth birthday.

The Commonwealth’s first Bill of Particulars, dated February 21, 2012, identified the summer of 2009 as the end date of Victim 9’s victimization.   In May 2018, Fina changed the end date to December 2008 – which is after the call to TSM but before Sandusky was “indicated” for abuse.


Based on evidence of Fina’s deceptions during the Sandusky and Conspiracy of Silence cases as well as Victim 9’s testimony and lawsuit, it is almost certain that the amended Bill of Particulars and date change was a C.Y.A. move by the Office of Attorney General (OAG).  

The delay in arresting Sandusky endangered Victim 9.

D.F.
The D.F. civil lawsuit stated he was a participant in TSM from 2004 through 2012 and was groomed and victimized by Sandusky in 2008 and/or 2009.   The lawsuit is unclear about when the incident in 2009 occurred or if it occurred in 2009 at all.
During the press conference for Geoffrey Moulton’s investigation of the Sandusky case, then AG Kathleen Kane stated that there were two individuals who made claims of being victimized after 2009.  D.F. was one of those individuals.
Fina confirmed that information, but he also told the press that D.F. was uncertain about the date and had credibility issues.  A fair reading of the D.F. lawsuit reveals that Fina was honest about the date issue but was dishonest regarding D.F’s credibility.
D.F.’s account was every bit as credible as Victim 10’s – who Fina presented as a witness at the Sandusky trial and was able to secure guilty verdicts for his allegations.
There is little doubt that the jury would have convicted some or all of D.F.'s allegations if he had been presented as a witness.  

Conclusions

Given all the information in the public domain about Sandusky’s interactions with children after 2009, it is clear that Ditka, Schulte, and other prosecutors before them, like Frank Fina and Bruce Beemer, were turning a blind eye to evidence of Sandusky’s illicit contact with children while he was a volunteer at TSM.

Not only should Raykovitz have been charged with EWOC, but so should Fina and others who purposely delayed the arrest of Sandusky.