Wednesday, June 25

Early thoughts (and finds) on Moulton's Investigation

Moulton's investigation signals the beginning of the end of the charade known as the "Penn State sex scandal"

Ray Blehar

Special Deputy Attorney General Geoffrey Moulton's investigation of the Sandusky investigation didn't deliver a fatal blow to Governor Tom Corbett.  Of course, once it was known that Moulton didn't have subpoena power and that the investigation was an internal review, everyone's expectations should have been tempered.

At least one criminal investigation is underway by the Feds at the present time and it will bring us closer to finding out the truth about the role of The Second Mile and, most likely, government entities involved.

As for the key findings -- they were almost exactly as I had predicted on the day before the release of the report.  Moulton found the pace of the investigation to be to slow, with "inexcusable" delays in getting warrants and in the failure to establish a multidisciplinary task force.  Not to blow my own horn, but I was first to coin this investigation as "inexcusable" last July (and PS4RS, Eileen Morgan, and I were mentioned in the footnote on page 4 of the report).

While Moulton's investigation was comprehensive, it lacked many of the details that were included in Report 3, such as the fact that many of the victims had "dockets" in the court system that investigators could have used to find them (sooner).  Also, it did not point out the failures by police to identify Victims 9 and 10, even though both individuals were named on camper lists and had asterisks next to their names.

The timeline was most beneficial in really understanding what happened in the investigation.  Again, it was very similar to the timeline in Report 3, which showed investigative activities ramping up in April.  Moulton's report revealed the investigation got busier in January, but the most activity occurred in May.  This fact supports the conclusion that electoral politics did not have as much of a role as perhaps other influences (more to come on that).  The Moulton report also concluded - in conflict with the Patriot News -- that additional resources were not significant in finding additional victims.

Finally, this report is far from the complete story.  It bears repeating that Moulton lacked subpoena power and could not compel anyone to testify.  The Pennsylvania State Police refused to make their officers available, thus the report relies on paper police reports (which may not be entirely accurate).

Abuse During Investigation

The bombshell of the day came when AG Kathleen Kane announced that two victims had been abused in the fall of 2009, while the investigation was still lagging.  That led to an outcry by the reporters, who strangely forgot that victims names should be kept confidential, and eventually by police and prosecutors, who challenged the veracity of Kane's statement.  Fina, McGettigan, and Noonan denied any knowledge of a victim being abused in 2009 in statements to the press.

The press then went on the attack today, decrying the error in Kane's statement.  Kane had mispoke, stating the victimization may have been prevented with an earlier arrest, however, she was incorrect on at least one of the victims (Victim 9 who had suffered continuous abuse from 2005 to 2009).   In any event, Victim 9 could have been spared from some abuse had Sandusky been apprehended sooner.

 As for the second victim, Kane stands by her story.  The later victim came forward in 2012.

The Patriot News is not only NOT expressing any moral outrage, but continues to deny Victim 9's abuse into 2009, stating "there is no evidence that the worst case scenario occurred."  This blog reported on Victim 9's abuse during the Sandusky investigation and its cover-up by the Patriot News in a number of blogposts.

It will continue to do so at every opportunity.


After just a cursory review of the 336 page report, some interesting information pops out.

1.  In a June 3, 2011 email, Agent Anthony Sassano complained about then-PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin stonewalling and filing motions to thwart subpoena requests.  This evidence will come in handy should Curley, Schultz, and Spanier ever go to trial.

2. Trooper Scott Rossman received a thumb drive of Penn State emails on July 7, 2011.  This is significant for several reasons, but first among them is that it is more evidence that Louis Freeh lied about making "independent discovery" of the email evidence on 20 March 2012.  The second issue is that it shows an apparent time lag between the turnover of the emails by PSU (in April 2011) to the OAG and the OAG's release of them to the police.

3.  Victim 5 was first identified in January 2011, but not interviewed by police until June 7, 2011.  He was one of the original four possible victims identified by the mother of Victim 6 and her daughter.  The report gives no explanation for the delay in finding him, however, Report 3 revealed he had a "court docket" in the system that could have been used to find his address.

4.  A New York Times reporter knocked on the door of Victim 1's home and was asking pointed questions in November 2010.  Review of the Sandusky trial transcripts revealed that the reporter was a male who first contacted a neighbor of Fisher's.  The neighbor, Josh Fravel, directed the reporter to the new address. (CORRECTION: Eshbach's email about a CDT reporter was not correct.  The reporter was from the New York Times)

5. The police interviewed janitor James Calhoun, however, the police reported he suffered from dementia at the time of his interview.  They also interviewed several other janitors.  Ironically, only one janitor testified at the trial.  Also, it is notable that none of Calhoun's three children testified to support the story.  I am keeping this incident in the hoax category.

6.  Despite the fact that two victims were abused by Sandusky in 2009, The Second Mile Executive Director continues to stand by his assertion that Sandusky was removed from all programs involving children in 2008.  See rebuttal, page 339.


  1. Good list. Patriot News actually reported victim 9 was abused into 2009 during the Sandusky trial but then contradicted themselves.

    On June 14, 2012, Matt Miller reported that "The man [victim 9] said he finally had enough when he was 16 in 2009 and called his mom to come get him at Sandusky's home. 'I didn't tell her why," he said.'

    Victim 6 testified at the Sandusky trial that his birth date was July 29, 1993 so his 16th birthday was July 29, 2009.

    Corbett can't deny the obvious danger Sandusky remained to children from 2009 to his arrest in Nov. 2011 because his own Detective Sassano wrote in one of the recovered emails that

    "The longer we wait to file charges, the greater the potential for Sandusky to molest other

  2. A major disappointment to see that Frank Fina can get away with fraud, perjury, and subornation of perjury. It totally destroys any confidence or respect for the criminal justice system. I thought that how Kane dealt with Fina would be the Gold Standard to judge the integrity of Kane's investigation.

    Moulton performed as expected. Very professional.

    The victim 9 and 10 stories bother me, especially considering Fina's Pell-Mell manipulation of dates and locations. The story of lunch with Sandusky and Paterno is lie that my cat could smell out. The story of abuse in the Lasch Building during pre-season practice would make Pinocchio gag. You would have a better chance of driving into Groom Lake than getting near the Lasch Builing during pre-season practice when Joe ran the show!

  3. Tim,
    Please make a screen shot of the Patriot News article. I have done the same, but it would be good to have a number of people who memorialize this article.

    The P-N's cover up of the Victim 9 abuse borders on criminal behavior.


  4. Gregory,
    You are correct.

    As I have noted many times, several of the victims in this case did not tell the complete truth.

    Some, like Victims 9 and 10, exaggerated what happened to them. However, their exaggerations do not mean they were not abused.

    I discussed Victim 9's case with Jim Clemente, who agreed with the premise that the prosecutors and investigators did not understand compliant victimization. The story of forced intercourse doesn't fit Sandusky's pattern of abuse -- however, the prosecutors had most victims testify to being forced into abuse in order to give the victims "a man's way out." The prosecutors understood that the jurors would be more receptive to "Big Jerry" forcing himself onto children that they would in understanding the dynamics of grooming and compliant victimization.

    I formerly wrote about Victim 10 and how his story changed dramatically from the trial to the settlements at PSU. According to Ken Lanning, when there are financial incentives involved, stories get exaggerated. At trial, Victim 10 stated he was abused on two or three occasions. During settlements, he stated he was like a family member of the Sandusky's and was abused for years.

    The bottom line here is that V9 and V10 were victims, but there stories were outliers and not corroborated by the other victims.

    The other thing I have come to realize after much research into these cases is that Sandusky did not invest a lot of time up front before he was taking these kids into the showers. Second Mile's Friend Fitness program was quite an enabler for Sandusky -- and this blog seems to be the only people who get that.

    1. I was rereading the testimony of victim 9, and he said Sandusky met him at a Second Mile summer camp and asked for his phone number. Sandusky then phoned the mother and made arrangements for her son to meet with Sandusky and eventually spend most weekends at Sandusky's house for 3 or 4 years. Sandusky did it outside the Second Mile program once he met his victims via Second Mile.

      It does seem odd that Sandusky would only force victim 9 to perform oral sex on him but never do the same to victim 9, contrary to Sandusky's MO with other victims. It is easy to understand why victim 9 may not want to admit he was sexually aroused by Sandusky performing oral sex on him.

    2. Tim,
      There are certain protocols that must be followed when a child joins a youth organization. The parent is putting his/her faith in the organization to keep the child safe. The guardians of these kids believed Sandusky was acting as a mentor to their boys via his role at TSM.

      You are correct about Victim 9. Again, Lanning's work states that teenage boys are particularly concerned about the stigma of homosexuality being attached to their abuse and may not disclose that side of the abuse.

    3. Second Mile was definitely on notice that Sandusky acted inappropriately with a boy in the PSU campus showers in 2001. I think they probably also knew about 1998. Second Mile should have watched Sandusky more closely after 2001. When they saw him spend a lot of time with a boy in the summer camp pool, they should have talked to the boy and his mother.

      I don't fault the guardians. I fault Second Mile's lack of supervision of Sandusky. I doubt that Sandusky getting a boy's phone number and calling his mother to arrange private play dates and eventual weekly sleepovers was part of the Second Mile program.

    4. Tim,
      Second Mile knew about Jerry's sleepovers and "mentoring." I have info that some TSM ppl didnt care for his mentoring style. He overruled them. Money won out over protecting kids.

  5. A couple of additional observations.

    Without interviewing the state police, the Moulton team did not get to address the Mike McQueary interview process. While police can and routinely do lie to suspects, witnesses, and informants, and/or make promises of concessions for their testimony, law enforcement is obligated to corroborate the information gained from their lies and the prosecution must be able to validate that the information is truthful. As you have pointed out the AG version of McQueary's observation is an exaggeration of what he said and in conflict with the witnesses testimony: His father, Dr Dranov, and of course all the Penn State staff. So those tactics were never criticqued by the review.

    I still can not understand why the Moulton investigation did not confront the AG's lack of addressing the public safety issue with allowing Sandusky on the street for over 2 years. While making the best case is entirely within reason, not addressing a strategy to insure the public safety is not something that should be left to "a role of the dice". In fact the AG office and PSP Leadership did not even consider a strategy. Every investigator involved in any serial offender case (not just sex offender) knows that uncontrolled emotion to commit the crimes routinely overrides the common sense of avoiding the crime. Ask Clemente or actually ask any law enforcement to find a case where a violent serial offender was identified early on in investigation and some strategy of safe guards was not implemented. Doesn't happen. Many options as simple as a periodic door knock to let Sandusky know he was being looked at would have been better than granting him the honor system.

    The PN criticizes Kane's work as sloppy in not fact checking the two 2009 victims, yet they find it harmless error, that AG Corbett completely ignored what he himself immediately recognized as a "High Profile" case as he focused on his campaign for governor.

    And Noonan continually displays that as a seasoned law enforcement commander he was asleep at the swtich.

    Gotta love it.

    1. One other observation. A pattern in the time line. email trails, and grand jury testimony is emerging that clearly points to the source of the "stonewalling by Penn State."

      The AG's star witness Cynthia Baldwin. Might be by incompetence but from the outside without the revelation of the time line, emails, etc her being at the center of every failure to respond by PSU is enlightening. The recovered emails connects the dots ever more clearly!

    2. Mike - I agree that Noonan was asleep at the switch, same as Corbett. Noonan even covered up by not allowing his troopers to even talk to Moulton.

      I think Noonan's troopers really come off as far worse than the prosecutors because they failed to conduct a competent investigation, possibly due to lack of training and experience in child abuse cases. It seems very suspect that they had victim 1 phone his abuser in an attempt to get Sandusky to incriminate himself. Why put victim 1 through the emotional stress of that when Sandusky knew victim 1 had turned him in the police so was unlikely to fall for such obvious entrapment?

      If the troopers didn't find decent evidence, the prosecutors couldn't move the case forward.

      Moulton was unable to answer such questions as why the state trooper assigned to the case kept being replaced.

  6. While victims 9 and 10 were probably abused in some manner, perjury is still perjury. Being that their attorneys are making millions from their perjury should give anyone pause. And Fina gets PSU vilified and the public outraged via fraud and perjury.

    Not surprised that Freeh got caught in another lie. Trying to tie Sandusky to PSU by fraudulent inflation of payments. His other lies, of course, were to cover up his illegally obtaining documents from OAG which were procured from Grand Jury subpoenas. If this is not blatantly obvious to Kane by now, she should take up knitting. Her inaction raises serious questions as to her level of competency.

  7. Unfortunately, Moulton only focused on the period from when Corbett got the Sandusky case in 2009 until he was arrested in Nov. 2011 so he didn't look at possible violations of grand jury secrecy by the OAG leaking evidence to Freeh. Victims 9 and 10 were also outside his time frame because they came forward after the arrest.

    Victim 9 and his lawyers have not collected anything yet because he refused to settle and filed a lawsuit. I think he is just trying to up the settlement but if he goes to trial, he will be up against far better lawyers from Penn State than the ones Sandusky had. They may find contradictions in his testimony that undermines his credibility.

    I was disappointed, but not surprised, that Moulton didn't consider the unprofessional leading of witnesses by troopers Rossman and Leiter. That was within his time frame, and there is absolute audio tape proof of it. I think Moulton would have felt that such misconduct was outside his mission.

    I doubt Moulton interviewed the victims, except maybe victim 1, or key witnesses like Mike McQueary, Dranov and Harmon. Kelly wouldn't let Freeh interview McQueary and Harmon so I expect Kane made them off limits to Moulton too.

    1. Tim, thanks for your measured and reasonable analyses through all this!

      Please speak more as to why PA AGs would not allow investigators to interview Mike McQueary, Jon Dranov, and Tom Harmon. (Ray and others, please offer your views on this).