Friday, October 21

Letter: Put focus where it belongs

I wrote this email in response to a recent PennLive column by Charles Thompson which made the conclusion that Penn State officials failed to report the 2001 incident to police and child welfare.  Thompson did the same on a column he wrote just days earlier and has repeatedly done the same throughout his reporting on the Conspiracy of Silence and related cases.   I wanted to share the email with readers of the blog because it reveals information that Thompson and others refuse to report about the case -- namely, that the Commonwealth can NEVER prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that PSU officials failed to report Sandusky in 2001.  The reason they cannot prove it is because the Pennsylvania child protection system's employees routinely screen out reports of abuse against alleged perpetrators who have been previously cleared.   This is the untold story of the Sandusky case and it is not being told because the media would rather get clicks by writing columns about Joe Paterno than actually serve the public -- and protect children.






Charles,
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.


Sincerely,
Ray Blehar

7 comments:

  1. Keep at this clown Ray, he's putting corruption above the welfare of PA kids with his lies. How long can this man continue to side with the bad guys?

    I still see that haunting image of Louis Freeh wagging his finger in front of the childline poster at his press conference. Freeh was endorsing childline as the way to provide help for abused kids. He knew full well that it was a broken system that was only there as a fa├žade for the Corbett administration. A help-line for children whose lives are in danger, and it was non-functioning. And, known to be non-functioning by Tom Corbett and Louis Freeh.

    This is the kind of filthy corruption that Charles Thompson is shamelessly trying to uphold.

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  2. Well said.

    It reminds me of the report that Childline failed to even answer 45,000 calls in 2015. It's clearly a broken system.

    It was clearly broken in 1998 when CYS and PA Dept. of Public Welfare failed to take any precautions when Sandusky admitted to bear hugging boys in the showers.

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  3. If the Attorney General says Schultz was a law enforcement agent than how can the others be guilty of failure to report?

    It's questionable if even Schultz is guilty because law enforcement officials have wide latitude to use their judgement.

    Case in point was the state trooper who heard from the 1971 accuser. He said the accuser's story was too crazy to believe and never reported it to the Attorney General. He should be charged with failure to report if Schultz is.

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  4. Most anyone paying attention to this case have stopped clicking on Charlie Thompson's articles and @PennLive in general a loonnggg time ago.

    To be honest, the Patriot-News utterly whiffed in protecting the abused children and their families in its readership area and refuses to this day, to discuss the very real problems that still exist, all in exchange for imaginary ones that provide clickbait.

    It is reasonable to conclude that the Patriot-News actively conspired to conceal their local reporting failures in ferreting out a child sex offender's victim farm in their own backyard.

    The most powerful people at the Patriot-News placed salacious reporting and clickbait stories over the welfare of the children, their families and commonwealth citizens being harmed by the actions of the Office of Attorney General, which is also in their backyard.

    Indeed, the Patriot-News/PennLive was engaged in a cover up of these local reporting failures to continue to maintain good publicity from their Pulitzer prize in...wait for it....local reporting.

    Just in case anyone forgets - the licensed professionals over at Second Mile, whose clients were abused by their charity Founder & Executive Director, have never been credibly investigated by our "Top Cop" whose office masthead ironically read at the time of this abuse : "Protecting Pennsylvania Families".

    The Fourth Estate is dead and the "watchdog" that the press purports itself to be jumped the fence and ran off quite a number of years ago.

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  5. I'm surprised PSU didn't just buy McQueary out like they did the victims. Not sure why they shelled out $90M+ to bury the victim cases and wouldn't throw out a mere $5M more to prevent further embarrassment via Mike? After all, it is all just other-peoples-money to them. I'm hoping it is because they have a good case here. Nothing against Mike, but his screw-up started this whole mess and allowed Corbett et all to build their diversion. Giving him millions for that is just unforgivable.

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  6. Paying off a disgruntled employee sets a bad precedent for Penn State. I bet they have a lot of disgruntled employees who might be encouraged to sue if they see McQueary getting a settlement.

    Mike was treated very well at Penn State salary wise. He got over a quarter million dollars for not working the last two years. The job he didn't get at Savannah State reportedly paid $1200 a month for 4 months. That's less than minimum wage.

    I don't think Mike made a decent effort to find employment. He is delusional if he thinks he will continue in coaching. He testified he wants to move out of State College. He obviously should have done that in 2011 because he is poison in Happy Valley.

    I also think Penn State did McQueary a huge favor by putting him on administrative leave. I hope the Penn State defense calls a PR expert to ask if that was a good move. If McQueary had continued to coach, the cameras would have been on him every game and his failures rehashed for a national audience. There would have also been boos, protests and signs criticizing him. Penn State saved him from lots of bad publicity even if he is too ignorant to see that.

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  7. Anyone who read the ESPN article about MM's gambling problem would never hire him. VanNatta had the penis posting data, but ESPN whiffed on that. I cannot understand why PSU counsel has kid gloves on. They could have destroyed Eshbach and John McQ on the fraudulent presentation and gambling issue alone.

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