Tuesday, March 10

Analysis: Evidence Rules Out PSU Cover-Up in 2001

Police and OAG investigators interviewed 67 former and/or current Centre County CYS employees -- but none were presented as grand jury witnesses regarding the 2001 case.  That is one of many pieces of evidence that demonstrate the weakness of the Commonwealth's case.  

Ray Blehar

The existing media scenario and the view of law enforcement is one and the same -- PSU officials conspired to cover-up Sandusky's crimes to protect the school's and the football program's reputation.   

The evidence, however, tells a very different story.  

When the evidence for and against a cover-up is weighed, the evidence stacks up heavily against the existing/accepted scenario.

Evidence For 
1. Mike McQueary testified that he conveyed to PSU officials "that it was a in a very bad sexual act, a molestation act with a minor"
2. Under the 2007 law,  Curley, Schultz, and Spanier were required to report the incident to the authorities because they were "school employees."
3.  No records exist to verify that Penn State made a report of the incident in 2001.
4.  An unauthenticated email covering the period on February 25-27, 2001, suggests (but not conclusively) that a report was not made to child welfare authorities in 2001.
5.  Former University Park police chief Tom Harmon was the only witness (with first hand knowledge) to testify that no report was made to the police about the 2001 incident.

Evidence Against
McQueary's Report
1.  McQueary testified that he did not use any explicitly sexual language with any of the PSU officials and, in fact, said he could not remember the exact words he used.  McQueary testified that the men "definitely received from me that it was sexual." (July 29, 2013 hearing, page 29)
2.  There are not corroborating witnesses for McQueary's statements to Curley and Schultz.
3.  Other individuals who McQueary informed about the incident on February 9th, 2001 did not advise him to make a report to the police and/or child welfare.  Those individuals also did not make a report.

The Law
4. Under the child abuse reporting statute in 2001, no Penn State officials were among the enumerated individuals who were mandated to report child abuse.  
5. The statute's definition of a student (under section 6303) was  "[a]n individual enrolled in a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school who is under 18 years of age." The statute did not apply to colleges and universities in 2001.

Child Abuse Reports/Records
6. Under Pennsylvania law, there is no requirement for reporters of child abuse to maintain a record of the report.  
7. In 2001, local child welfare authorities were not required to report General Protective Services complaints to the State-wide database.  Note: Required to be included as of July 1, 2014.
8. Under the Public Welfare Code provision for General Protective Services, local child welfare authorities have the discretion to prioritize and investigate complaints based on a risk assessment of the alleged abuse report.   
9.  Centre County Children and Youth Services (CC CYS) assisted in the 1998 investigation of Sandusky and was aware the investigation did not result in an abuse finding.  
10.  Records of investigations of unfounded complaints are expunged upon notification by ChildLine.

History of Penn State's Reports of Sandusky's Behavior
11.  PSU cooperated fully with a 1998 investigation of then active assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky.
12.  In 2001, PSU Athletic Director Timothy Curley reported (then-retired) Sandusky's shower incident outside of the University his employer, The Second Mile.
13. There is no evidence that PSU officials were aware of any inappropriate conduct by Sandusky with children after February 9, 2001.  
14.  PSU officials openly communicated about the 1998 and 2001 incidents over email and courtesy copied support staff on some of the communications.
15.  PSU Senior Vice-President of Business and Finance, Gary Schultz, reported his knowledge of the 2001 incident to the University's legal counsel, Wendell Courtney.
16.  According to the grand jury presentment and other court proceedings, Schultz recalled that a report of the 2001 incident was made to local child welfare authorities (i.e., CC CYS).
17.  According to an email (page 84 of Freeh Report) from Wendell Courtney, he recalled that in 2001 "someone...contacted Children and Youth Services to advise of the situation."

Lack of Corroborating Witnesses/Witness Credibility
18.  According to the Moulton Report (page 156), the Director of CC CYS testified at the Sandusky grand jury on March 10, 2011, however her testimony did not address the 2001 incident.
19.  According to the Moulton Report's timeline (pages 142 to 166) none of the 66 former and/or current employees of CC CYS interviewed by the police and/or general investigators  were presented as grand jury witnesses about the 2001 incident. 
20.  Prosecution witness, former University Park police chief Tom Harmon testified that he purposely mislabeled the 1998 police report of the Sandusky investigation so that the press would not be able to discover it in the police logs.
21. The University Park police under Harmon's direction had no qualms about arresting football players and properly reporting the arrests as such in the police logs.
22. Harmon was formerly a neighbor of Sandusky's and attended the same church.
23. Harmon was a mandated reporter of child abuse in 2001 and he could have been charged with failure to report child abuse if he admitted knowledge of the 2001 incident.
24. On the Monday after the incident, Harmon emailed Schultz to confirm that a report of the 1998 incident existed in the imaged archives.  Harmon testified that Schultz didn't ask him about the file nor did he recall giving the file to Schultz.

The numbers don't lie.  


Based on the evidence on the public record to date, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the Commonwealth to meet the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for its allegation of a failure to report and a cover-up by PSU officials.

There is reasonable doubt at every turn (without introducing more doubt based on the actions an inactions of The Second Mile).

Note: This is a companion post, titled "What Are They Hiding?"  that will examine the possible reasons why Commonwealth officials and the Board of Trustees pinned the blame on PSU officials for enabling Sandusky's crimes.


  1. Hi Ray. Any idea why Schultz appears not to have told Courtney about the 1998 investigation? Courtney emailed him on November 4th when the charges first came down and said he never heard about the inappropriate touching in 1998. Sandusky was an employee at that time and it seems more likely Schultz would have informed him of that incident than 2001, when Sandusky didn't work for PSU anymore.

    1. EJ,
      I don't know for sure. You could surmise that since the police and District Attorney were involved from the earliest stages, he didn't need to consult with Courtney. Also, it is possible that the police and/or District Attorney advised Schultz not to share the details of the case with anyone. All of the evidence to date confirms that he didn't share any details with Curley, Spanier, and Paterno.

    2. Ray - I thought some of the 1998 emails showed that Schultz did tell Curley. Curley emailed back saying "Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands." That "Coach" probably was Sandusky if it was referring to the shower incident.

      Schultz also allegedly emailed Spanier on the 1998 shower incident but Spanier never replied to either email and claimed he never saw either email because he was out of the country.

      I suspect Harmon was breaking the law by leaking information about the 1998 investigation to Schultz.

    3. Tim,
      The email evidence that is available to the public shows that Schultz did not share any details about the nature of the investigation -- simply that an investigation was occurring. At the end of the investigation, the email said it resulted in no charges and that Jerry had engaged in the same behavior with other children, but it does not specify the behavior.

      "Coach" could be Jerry, it could be Joe, and it even could have been Fran Ganter, since Ganter handled disciplinary issues (and some players have told me Fran knew everything).

      I don't think Harmon revealed the full identity of any of the children involved, so he probably didn't break the law.

  2. A couple of typos.

    1. There are two number 2's under Evidence For.

    2. Under Evidence Against item 4 has a double negative. "no Penn State officials were not"

    The first number 2 under Evidence For mentions the 2007 law, which doesn't seem to apply to the 2001 shower incident. Was that the law Monsignor Lynn was prosecuted under? The superior court later reversed Lynn's conviction because his alleged crime occurred before 2007.

    1. Thank you, Tim. I've made the correction.

      Lynn's case has to do with the child endangerment law, not FTR, however, the same issue pertains to the case here because it requires individuals to be in "direct supervision" of the child.

      Obviously, in the 2001 case, the victim is unknown, so direct supervision can't be proven. I suspect that is how The Second Mile would defend itself if it was charged.

    2. Ray - However this entire mess is ever resolved.....we all owe you thanks for all that you have done. Your work has provided a structure that helps us to sort through the huge mess of information/disinformation that this fiasco has spawned.
      Many thanks

    3. Thank you, Barry. You have it right that a lot of disinformation has been spread by many in this fiasco. Among the many...

      Linda Kelly

      Sara Ganim

      Louis Freeh

      Rod Erickson

      Mark Emmert