Wednesday, September 27

The Imaginary World of Louis Freeh

Louis Freeh's statements after the dismissal of Spanier's defamation lawsuit are unsupported by the facts established by independent reviews conducted by Pennsylvania government officials and by the court rulings pertaining to the cases of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz

Ray Blehar

September 27, 2017, 9:31 EDT

On September 20, 2017, legal representatives of former Penn State University (PSU) President Graham Spanier and former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stipulated that Spanier’s defamation lawsuit against Freeh would be dismissed while Spanier case was on appeal.

Immediately after the ruling, Freeh issued a statement with an addendum that made a number of factually challenged assertions regarding his investigation and report on the Sandusky scandal at PSU.'s difficult to decide where to start in order to debunk Freeh’s nonsense. 

Given the number of falsehoods, half-truths, opinions, and innuendo in these documents, it's difficult to decide where to start in order to debunk Freeh’s nonsense.  As such, the following analysis focuses on Freeh’s statements that are demonstrably false and those that stand in the way of improvements for the safety and welfare of children.

FALSE:  Freeh Investigation Was Limited to PSU

In the addendum to the September 20, 2017 statement, Freeh falsely claimed that the scope of his investigation was limited to PSU and therefore he did not address failures at The Second Mile (TSM) or the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Public Welfare (DPW). 

 “the scope of his review was not to review issues at either institution or recommend changes for these institutions.”

The fact of the matter is that the engagement letter for the Freeh investigation required the former FBI director to:

 “perform an independent, full, and complete investigation of the recently publicized allegations of sexual abuse at the facilities and the alleged failure of The Pennsylvania State University personnel to report sexual abuse…”

In other words, this letter required a full and complete investigate of the crimes that occurred on campus from 1996 through 2002 – as reported in the Sandusky grand jury presentment.

Freeh’s investigation failed to do so.

A full and independent investigation would have determined how and why Sandusky was able to commit crimes against children on campus prior to 1998.  As such the investigation ultimately would have involved understanding the roles and responsibilities of DPW and TSM as they pertained to protecting foster children and adoptive children, and the charity’s participants, respectively.

As the evidence shows, not only did they not investigate the crimes on campus from 1996 to 1998, but they also failed to conduct independent reviews of facts and evidence related to the crimes from 1998 up to Sandusky’s arrest in 2011.

FALSE: Not a “Single Fact that the Report Got Wrong”

In a desperate attempt to defend The Freeh Report, the former FBI director attacked his critics, stating:

“Critics have raised a number of issues with the report, none of which identified a single fact that the report got wrong.”

Freeh cited just one example of his critics being wrong, but even that example was dubious at best. 

Critics complained that Freeh did not have adequate evidence to draw the conclusion that a reference to “coach” in an email was Paterno. This issue remained in doubt until Spanier’s trial in 2017 when Tim Curley testified that the email's reference to “coach” indeed was Paterno.  

However, there were many, many more criticisms of the quality and accuracy of The Freeh Report than just the debate over whether or not “coach” was Paterno.  

Among many other things, The Freeh Report did not properly reflect the proceedings at the Sandusky trial.

The best example of this is The Freeh Report’s version of the 2000 incident involving the janitors that contained a dozen errors in a little over one page.  

First, the report incorrectly stated (at 62) the location of the crime was the East Area Locker Room.  Later, in detailing the incident (at 65), it incorrectly stated that the location was the Assistant Coaches Locker Room in the Lasch Building.  So not only were both locations wrong but they weren't even consistent.

As established by the trial testimony, the incident occurred in the Staff Locker Room of the Lasch Building. 

Next, The Freeh Report (at 65) stated that multiple witnesses testified about the 2000 incident at the Sandusky trial.  The fact is that only one witness (i.e., janitor) testified about the incident.   The report goes on to provide ten statements purported to be the trial testimony of the witnesses, none of which was part of the testimony of the single witness, Ronald "Buck" Petrosky (see below).

Freeh's version of the janitor incident was riddled with errors.

In addition to the error filled version of the janitor incident, The Freeh Report’s timeline (at 19) also incorrectly reported that Victim 6 was assaulted in the Lasch Building shower in May 1998.  Of course, this is incorrect for several reasons including the Lasch Building didn’t exist in 1998 and that Sandusky was found not guilty of indecently assaulting the victim.

The report’s timeline (at 25) reports Victim 5 was assaulted even though the jury acquitted Sandusky of indecent assault.

If this $8.5 million investigation couldn’t correctly report the trial proceedings, which are a matter of public record, one has to wonder how many other imaginary things Freeh concocted from investigative information that was not in the public domain.  Note that in the BP case, an attorney gave a sworn statement that Freeh's team constructed a completely inaccurate version of what she told them and used it to recommend charges against someone who had done nothing wrong.  Freeh was sued for defamation in that case.

Even a cursory review of this report should have raised questions about its accuracy and quality.   The report’s appendix begins at Exhibit 2 and ends with Exhibit 10.  In between, Exhibits 4, 7, 8, and 9 are absent.  Why were these Exhibits absent and why didn’t the Freeh team properly renumber the Exhibits?

Moreover, the report went public with an accompanying errata sheet identifying errors in the report.  In this day of electronic publishing, why not simply make the changes to the report?

The evidence strongly supports the theory The Freeh Report was completed prior to the Sandusky trial then hastily reviewed and edited afterwards to meet a deadline established by the PSUBOT’s Special Investigations Task Force.  Some errors were purposely left in the report to deceive the readers about the facts (knowing that few people would read the errata sheet).

Those who have read and evaluated The Freeh Report know it is incomplete, inaccurate, and of poor quality.

Anyone who stands by the completeness, quality, and accuracy of the report, including Louis Freeh, undoubtedly has not bothered to actually read it.

FALSE:  “Provided ‘smoking gun’ evidence to prosecutors”

Freeh’s contention that his investigation provided the smoking gun evidence (see below) to prosecutors is simply false.   Moreover, Freeh’s contention may be an admission to a conspiracy to obstruct justice by the OAG and the Freeh Group.

Freeh relied on the media’s lazy reporting and, subsequently, the public’s lack of knowledge of the July 2013 preliminary hearing of Curley, Schultz, and Spanier to continue perpetuating this falsehood.

First, no one from Freeh’s investigative team ever testified to their role in the recovery of the email evidence and/or the Schultz file.  

Next, neither the PSU nor the OAG information technology professional who testified at that proceeding mentioned that Freeh’s team had any role whatsoever in discovering and/or providing the critical email evidence.  

OAG IT professional Braden Cook, who joined the investigation in fall 2011, testified that he received the emails from OAG’s computer services and provided no details on their chain of custody beyond that.   Cook’s testimony did not establish the exact date of original receipt of the email evidence by law enforcement.

PSU’s IT professional, John Corro, testified that he recovered the emails and provided 3 thumb drives containing them to former PSU General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin in March or April of 2011.

At Spanier’s grand jury colloquy, Baldwin promised to turn them over to the OAG and grand jury judge by Friday, April 15, 2011 – at least six months before Freeh was hired.

The May 30, 2014 Report to the Attorney General on the Investigation of Gerald A. Sandusky (aka, the Moulton Report) revealed (at 158) that Pennsylvania State Police trooper Scott Rossman received a “thumb drive containing Penn State emails” on July 7, 2011 – again, before Freeh’s team was hired.

The evidence clearly established that the email evidence was obtained well before the Freeh group was hired to conduct the investigation.

Freeh also claimed to have a role in the discovery of Schultz’s notes.  That’s at least partially true, as former PSU administrative assistant Kimberly Belcher testified that she refused to provide Schultz’s notes or any other evidence to Freeh’s investigators.

The July 2013 preliminary hearing testimony confirmed that Belcher provided the notes under force of subpoena to OAG officials in April 2012.

The Freeh Report affixes a May 2012 date to Schultz’s notes – confirming that they were in the possession of the OAG before they were obtained by his team. 

Court records, as well as an official investigation into the Sandusky investigation, confirmed that the Freeh investigation did not uncover any of the critical (“smoking gun”) evidence used in the prosecution of PSU officials.

Freeh’s continued assertion that his team discovered or assisted in the recovery of this evidence is not only false, but could be considered an admission  that he entered into  a conspiracy with OAG (and PSU) officials to frame Curley,  Schultz, and Spanier for obstructing the Sandusky investigation.

FALSE: “Report’s Findings Repeatedly Sustained”

The facts in the previous passage confirm that the Freeh investigation did not uncover the emails and notes used in the prosecution of the PSU 3 and that his claims have been refuted by the court records.  

Regardless, Freeh continued to promote the veracity of his investigative report on PSU:

"There have been numerous opportunities for various courts and agencies to review the report since 2012.  At each opportunity, the report’s findings have been confirmed.”
According to The Freeh Report’s key findings Curley and Schultz, along with Spanier and Joe Paterno, actively concealed information about Jerry Sandusky's serial sexual abuse of children and had a total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims.   

The Freeh Report's language was mimicked by the OAG on November 1, 2012 when it issued its press release in conjunction with the Conspiracy of Silence grand jury presentment. 

“This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment. This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard to the suffering of children…” 


“They essentially turned a blind eye to the serial predatory acts of Jerry Sandusky committed on campus...”

The number of charges in the case against PSU officials ballooned from 4 to 24.
Previously, Curley and Schultz were charged with 1 count each of perjury and failure to report child abuse.  

The new charges against the three PSU officials – now including Spanier -- were 2 counts each for endangering the welfare of a child, 2 counts each conspiracy to endanger, and 1 count each for obstruction of justice and related conspiracy in addition to the prior charges.   Spanier was also charged with perjury and failure to report.  

By the time of Spanier’s trial in March 2017, all but three of the charges against him were dismissed.   The charges related to obstruction of justice and conspiracy that emanated from the Freeh investigation was dismissed.

Curley and Schultz pleaded to one count each of endangering the welfare of a child. All other charges were dismissed.

As such, Freeh's claim that the findings of his report were not challenged or disproved in the courts is not connected to reality. 

FALSE:  PSU Was Accountable for Sandusky’s Crimes

Freeh’s statements, as well as many in the media and public, ludicrously contend that it is blame shifting and “misguided” when individuals bring up the roles and responsibilities of the PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and The Second Mile (TSM) for protecting children from Sandusky.

Freeh’s addendum contended:

“More critically, the concept that others may also have had some responsibility for Sandusky’s acts in no way absolves Penn State from its own accountability.”

The Freeh Report’s Chapter 8 cited excerpts of the 2001 and 2012 versions of the PA child abuse reporting law but did not provide any conclusion whatsoever regarding whether or not Paterno, Curley, Schultz, and/or Spanier violated the law.

The reason for this was because Freeh, as a former judge and prosecutor, obviously knew that none of the officials at PSU who received the report of the 2001 incident had a legal requirement or mandate to make a report of it.

As such, he skirted the issue in The Freeh Report by omitting his “reasonable conclusion.”  

In the more recent addendum, Freeh also skirted the legal issue using the non-legal term of “accountability” rather than using terms such as “legally responsible” or “criminally negligent.”

The failure to report charge against PSU officials was eventually dismissed by the court in 2016.

FALSE:  Blaming DPW Is Misguided

In what could be considered the most delusional, irresponsible, and dangerous statement made by the former FBI director, he offers that those who have pointed out that the child protection system (i.e., DPW and Centre County CYS) failed in the Sandusky case are “misguided.”

“This effort to redirect attention away from Penn State’s role in Sandusky’s offenses is misguided.”

Amazingly, this statement by Freeh came less than one week after PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued a scathing report that concluded the Commonwealth’s child protection system is broken and puts children at risk.  

Moreover, DePasquale’s State of the Child report (at 6) confirms a key point repeatedly made by those who Freeh criticizes as “misguided:”  

The Freeh Report and media reports echoing the OAG's allegations that a reporting failure at PSU enabled Sandusky's crimes surely influenced the changes made by the PA general assembly.  Those changes focused almost exclusively on expanding the definitions of child abuse, increasing the span of mandated reporters, and providing harsh penalties for not reporting.  

The results of the changes to the laws – all meant to improve child safety -- were disastrous, as reported by DePasquale’s report on ChildLine in October 2016 and his September 2017 report on The State of the Child.

The general assembly’s decision to change the law without providing additional staffing and/or resources to handle the increased call volume resulted in 42,000 missed calls in 2015.  The report revealed that 42% of calls were either unanswered or dropped. 

DePasquale offered that the numbers were disturbing because it remains unknown how many children in need of services and protection fell through the cracks.

As I wrote here and here, The Freeh Report missed a golden opportunity to inform and educate the public about the failures of PA’s child protection system that contributed to Sandusky's crimes and instead swept them under the rug.  

DePasquale’s 2017 State of the Child Report has finally brought to light the problems that the “misguided” have been discussing for years, especially that children remain unsafe after the call has been made to ChildLine and after that child is receiving protective services from county agencies.  From the State of the Child report (at 2):

The State of the Child report confirmed that DPW is broken.
Some of the uninformed citizenry may attempt to make the argument that the system has only recently become dysfunctional, however DePasquale’s report confirmed that DPW officials cited a need to revamp the training program for caseworkers in 2001.

In short, caseworkers were not equipped for field work from the training they were receiving at the time they were called into investigate Sandusky in 1998.  The evidence related to that investigation confirms that was the case, as nearly one dozen signs of potential sexual abuse were seemingly discounted by caseworkers and Sandusky was determined NOT to be a danger to children.

FALSE:  Dissenters Disservice Victims and Penn State

Last but not least, Freeh asserts that those who have taken issues with the conclusions in his report are doing a disservice to the victims and are at odds with those who want to improve the institution.

“…a small group denies the facts that have been proven over and over and seeks to fight yesterday’s battles.  This is a disservice to the many victims of Sandusky’s crimes, as well as the thousands of decent Penn State students, athletes, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni, and supporters who wish to improve their institution...”

The truth of the situation is that the “small group” understands that The Freeh Report dishonored the Sandusky victims by promoting a false narrative that resulted in more victims and a more dire situation for PA's children.

There is no doubt among well-informed individuals that a call and/or report to ChildLine regarding the 2001 shower incident would not have resulted in an investigation. 

The fact of the matter was that because the victim in the 2001 incident was unknown, the intake workers could not have even started to investigate.  From the State of the Child report (at 12):

Moreover, the intake workers would have never even gotten a chance to investigate the report because it would have been screened out before it reached them.  From the State of the Child report (page 12).

DePasquale’s State of the Child Report finally made public what that "small group that denies the facts" has known since 2013.

The Sandusky scandal was never a Penn State problem.  It was a state of Pennsylvania problem.

The system could not have stopped Sandusky because of the way it operated and the recommendations from the Freeh Report and the public statements of Louis Freeh did little to nothing to prevent the future victimization of children.

The Freeh Report helped keep PA's children in harm's way


There is an imaginary world of a child protection system in which every call is answered and a well-trained caseworker is promptly dispatched to properly investigate every incident.  

Then there is the real world where 42% of calls are missed, almost half of the calls received are screened out, and there not enough caseworkers to properly investigate the cases.

Unfortunately, the imaginary world is the one in which most of the media and the public lives and who still contend that a single phone call in 2001 to ChildLine would have stopped Jerry Sandusky.  

It is painfully obvious that Louis Freeh still lives in that imaginary world.

Wednesday, September 13

Legal Issues with Ganim's 2011 Police Report

If a police report from November 23, 2011 existed, as Sara Ganim's and CNN's story claimed, then why wasn't it part of the evidence in the Conspiracy of Silence and Sandusky cases, as well as the Freeh Report?

Ray Blehar

Sep 13, 2017: 11:24 PM EDT, Updated: 11:42 PM EDT, Updated Sep 14, 2017: 10:22AM

As is typically the case, readers of this blog provide many insightful comments in the comment section, by text, and by email.

There were some great points made by Tim Berton on Monday's blog post, in which he pointed out that a November 23, 2011 police interview could  have been a rehearsal for Mike McQueary's December 2011 preliminary hearing testimony.  He also pointed out the opening statement by McGettigan didn't make sense and concluded it was a transcription error.   

As I wrote tonight's post, I found yet another transcription error.  

This is important because many have contended Paterno didn't tell the grand jury "it was a sexual nature," but rather asked "was it a sexual nature?" The words were transposed.  And a question made more sense based on the equivocating nature of Paterno's testimony.

That issue remains open for debate.

Back to the point of tonight's post.

I  received some exceptionally insightful comments via text message from a gentleman who does consulting work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  He pointed out that the 2011 police report undoubtedly would have come out during the court case of former Penn State University (PSU) President Graham Spanier.

Evidence that Spanier Was Lying About 1998
He stated that if  a police report from November 23, 2011 contained the information McQueary alleged about Paterno's knowledge of 1998, wouldn't McQueary have testified to that at the trial of Spanier?

Indeed, if Paterno had admitted to knowing about the 1998 incident, prosecutors would have definitely wanted to use that evidence to make a case that Spanier was lying about his lack of knowledge of that incident.

While McQueary couldn't testify to the hearsay, if the prosecution had that informaton in 2011, wouldn't they have re-interviewed Paterno in an attempt to get a first hand account?  And if they did, prosecutor's could have shown that everyone in the decision making loop at PSU knew about 1998 and that it would have strained credulity that the President would not know.

Spanier was the ultimate target of the AG's investigation.

But prosecutors didn't ask Paterno about his statement when he was re-interviewed on December 6, 2011.

He also pointed out that if the Attorney General (AG) had this inculpatory evidence in its possession and withheld it, then what exculpatory evidence was withheld?

Spanier's attorneys should be asking that question.

Ganim/CNN:  Unwittingly exposed discovery violation?
Ganim, who was formerly a crime and courts reporter, may have unwittingly exposed discovery violations by the AG.  Also, her explanation of the courtroom strategy (for not using the information from the police report because to avoid bringing Paterno into it) doesn't hold water. 

McQueary made several hearsay statements about Paterno throughout the judicial process, including at the Sandusky trial.  Interestingly, McQueary testified his meeting with Paterno lasted about five minutes because the former coaching legend "didn't like to talk or (sic) a long time."

Paterno didn't like to talk for a long time?  But he takes the time to trade in rumor mongering with a lowly grad assistant?

I'm sure Mike will clear this all up in one of the versions of his memoirs.

"Jerry doesn't like girls"
If the prosecution believed Mike McQueary was a credible witness, then it is very difficult to understand why Dottie Sandusky and Sue Paterno weren't called to testify at the Sandusky trial about Dottie's alleged statement.

The prosecution was making the case that Jerry was a serial preferential child molester that preyed on young boys.  While Dottie might lie about this statement because of her marriage to Jerry, Sue Paterno would have no reason to lie.

Dottie, who testified at her husband's trial as a defense witness, was not asked if she made that statement.

Prosecutors did not call Sue Paterno as a witness.

Missing From Freeh Report
There is little doubt among anyone who has followed the scandal that PSU's Board of Trustees hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct an "investigation" for the purpose of justifying its decision to remove Spanier and Paterno from their positions on November 9, 2011.

There is also substantial evidence, especially emails obtained by PSU alumnus Ryan Bagwell and court documents in the Corman v. NCAA case,  that Freeh and the AG were collaborating and sharing information regarding the investigation into PSU officials.

As such, it is difficult to believe that the AG did not provide the 2011 police report to Freeh so that he would have more evidence of Paterno's knowledge of the 1998 incident.   The Freeh Report's only evidence that Paterno had knowledge of the 1998 incident was a single email that was ambiguous at best.

But Freeh, a former prosecutor, didn't include this evidence in his report.

The existence (reality) of the 2011 police report is crumbling given its importance to helping the court cases of the prosecution,  in justifying the decision to remove Paterno by the PSU BOT, and because its suppression would have violated discovery in cases involving Mike as a witness.

It's time for CNN and Ganim to put up or shut up.

Note:  This post was updated on September 14 to reflect Paterno was re-interviewed on December 6, 2011, but not asked about his statement regarding a second incident.

Monday, September 11

Ganim: Desperate to be Relevant

Sara Ganim's factually challenged report that Joe Paterno may have known about Sandusky's sexual abuse prior to 2001 was nothing more than a desperate attempt to revive a career that plummeted after she left the Harrisburg Patriot News

Ray Blehar

Sep 11, 2017, 11:19 PM EDT, Updated Sep 13, 10:04 PM EDT

On the morning of the Pitt-Penn State football game, CNN's Sara Ganim sided with her alma mater's rival to allege that Joe Paterno "knew" about Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children prior to Sandusky's arrest in November 2011.

The release of the story on the morning of the  rivalry game was the "tell" that Ganim was desperate for attention and to regain some limelight.  That's something she's seen very little of since CNN made the mistake of hiring someone who purported herself to be an investigative reporter after winning a Pulitzer prize for local reporting in 2012.

The focus of Ganim's story was a previously unknown police report from November 2011 that contained some hearsay from Mike McQueary regarding Paterno's remarks to him.  McQueary alleged that Paterno, when being told about the shower incident in 2001, told him it was the second such report he'd received about Sandusky.

Ganim did not provide a link to - or screen shots of -- the purported police report from November 2011.  Nor did she provide any corroborating information from any of the subjects mentioned in her column and relied upon unnamed and/or unreliable sources.

But from the alleged hearsay, Ganim erroneously concluded:

"...Joe Paterno knew years before Jerry Sandusky's arrest that his longtime assistant might be sexually abusing children."

The prior incident being referenced in McQueary's hearsay statement was the 1998 child abuse investigation of Jerry Sandusky.

No sexual abuse (or child abuse) in 1998 incident

The 1998 investigation concluded with child welfare agents determining that showering with children did not rise to the level of child abuse -- let alone sexual abuse.   Here is a quote from lead investigator Jerry Lauro from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW):

"It didn't meet the criteria. If I really thought there were any child abuse ... I definitely would have indicated it."

The investigation also resulted in the district attorney concluding there was insufficient evidence to charge Sandusky with indecent assault and lesser crimes, such as (misdemeanor) child endangerment. Ganim's Pulitzer prize winning reporting from 2011 and 2012 blamed Gricar for failing to stop Sandusky in 1998, but former Penn State police detective Ronald Schreffler had a different take.

"It'd be a little hard for them to prosecute, when you have the state saying there wasn't any abuse."

The results of the 1998 investigation -- and other evidence -- simply blows apart the rationale for Ganim's narrative that Paterno may have had knowledge of Sandusky's sexual abuse of children prior to 2001.   However, she drew more erroneous conclusions based on the 1998 incident.

For example:

"The police report casts fresh doubt on the mountain of denials by Paterno, his family and his loyalists that the coach knew anything of Sandusky's serial molestation before the 2001 incident."
No it doesn't --  because the 1998 investigation didn't conclude there was "molestation," let alone "serial molestation."
It contradicts the head coach's testimony before a grand jury and his published statement a week before he died in 2012 that he "had 'no inkling' that Sandusky might be a sexual deviant" until he heard the shocking allegation from McQueary."
No it doesn't --  because the 1998 investigation didn't conclude Sandusky was a "sexual deviant" or even a threat to the welfare of children.

Ganim's column also implies that Paterno was given detailed information about the 1998 incident from former Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley.   

Curley testified this spring that he had a conversation in 1998 with Paterno about that allegation. 

Court records of Curley's testimony show otherwise, as Curley believed the incident took place in the shower area, not inside the shower, and that Curley was not informed that Sandusky and the child were naked.

The evidence so far does not support Ganim's story that Paterno was aware of previous sexual acts by Sandusky in the least -- and there's little evidence to support many of the other conclusions she drew in the column.

Sandusky Trial Did NOT Avoid Penn State

Ganim's column was wrong about the prosecution's avoidance of pulling Penn State into the trial.

"We structured the whole case around avoiding Penn State," a source close to the prosecution said. "We were terrified (of acquittal)."

Indeed, in his opening remarks to Sandusky's jury, lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan said, "The Pennsylvania State University is not on trial." McGettigan wouldn't comment for this story.

As you will see below, Ganim cherry-picked just one part of the opening statement to make this conclusion to a mostly unwitting public.

However, in his next set of statements, McGettigan absolved The Second Mile of any responsibility for Sandusky and then followed up by implying that Penn State did.

Ganim, who covered the Sandusky trial as a local crime reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot News, apparently did not understand the significance of the prosecutions' order in which it had victim  testify.

An investigative reporter would have.

Victim 4 was the first to testify and he didn't testify because he was the most credible.  In fact, two of the charges related to his victimization were dismissed by the trial judge.  Moreover, his testimony put the prosecution's entire case at risk because his testimony was unlike any of the other victims who had been victimized over a long period of time by Sandusky.

While all of the other long-term victims testified to molestation occurring in Sandusky's home, Victim 4 testified that it never happened there. He alleged that all victimization took place in the Penn State locker rooms, at Toftrees, or at hotels were the football team stayed.

Not only did the prosecution use Victim 4 make the case about Penn State, but it specifically zeroed in on Penn State football.

It would be hard for someone to legitimately argue otherwise.

If this case was about the suffering of the victims, then the prosecution should have presented the only known, confirmed victim of anal rape -- Victim 9 -- on the stand first.  The jury was emotionally upset after he testified and they convicted Sandusky on all related charges.

If this case was not about Penn State, then why not present the victims in the order they were found during the investigation?   Aaron Fisher was a compelling witness and the jury convicted on all related charges.

There is little doubt that the reason why Victim 9 and/or Fisher didn't testify first was because none of their victimization took place on the Penn State campus.

As layed out above, it was clear from the opening statement and through the presentation of the witnesses that the prosecutors were utilizing the Sandusky trial to place blame on Penn State officials for failing to protect children from Sandusky.  At the same time, they utilized the trial to absolve everyone else, especially The Second Mile, of the failing to carry out their legal responsibilities to do the same..

Ganim's column also contained this incredible passage about the  Sandusky trial, according to her "source close to the prosecution."

"They hated the whole Penn State conspiracy thing" 
Oh, really?

The grand jury presentment written by the prosecutors in the fall of 2012 that formed the basis for the charges against Penn State officials was titled as the "Conspiracy of Silence."

The Sandusky trial evidence in no way supports the conclusions from her (alleged) unnamed source.

Does Ganim really believe the manure she shoveled in this column or was she just desperate to write something -- anything -- to be relevant?

Regardless, the evidence so far shows that she cannot separate fact from fiction or fantasy from reality.

Unreliable Sources

As shown just above, any reasonable person familiar with the facts of the Sandusky case can easily debunk her stories and discredit her sources.

Ganim's May 2016 story alleged that in 1971, Jerry Sandusky picked up a 15 year-old hitch-hiker dubbed Victim A, then Sandusky molested him.

Here's Ganim's factually challenged account:

"Victim A says he was hitchhiking when Sandusky picked him up, bought him beer, gave him pot -- and then attacked him as he was standing at a urinal in a Penn State bathroom.
"I felt his presence behind me," he said. "I felt his left knee on the back of my knee, and his arms went around me, grabbing my ..." he trails off. "He said, 'Let me help you with this.'"
Victim A said he jerked his head back, hitting Sandusky in the jaw. His head started bleeding and they both fell to the floor.
"Then there was a wrestling session," he says. "And I lost. One thing led to another and the crime happened."
Victim A was already a troubled kid. During a church sleepover the year before, he said he was molested by a local priest. When he tried to report it, he was thrown out of the church. He was living with foster parents when Sandusky attacked him.

A day after the assault, Victim A's foster mom noticed the cut on his head. She pestered him about what happened. And when he told her, she and her husband -- who owned a local bowling alley and knew many high-ranking school officials -- called Penn State against his wishes. "I was blindsided," he said, adding that his foster father told him, "I assure you the police won't be called, but you gotta tell these people what happened."

He found himself on the phone with two men from Penn State.
"I tell them what happened -- well, I couldn't get it out of me that I was -- I can't even tell it to this day. It's just degrading -- that I was raped," he said.
"I told the story up to a certain point. I told them that he grabbed me and that I got the hell out of there."
He insisted that he "made it very clear" it was a sexual attack.
"I made it clear there were things done to me that I just can't believe could have been done to me and I couldn't escape. I said, 'I'm very upset and scared and I couldn't believe I let my guard down.' They listened to me. And then all hell broke loose.
"They were asking me my motive, why I would say this about someone who has done so many good things.

The details of the story reveal that Victim A was lying to Ganim because they are not aligned with the  method of operation and ritualistic nature of Sandusky's crimes.  Ganim did not challenge any of this account, though she knew, or should have known, from her background as a former PSU student, Centre Daily Times reporter, and her coverage of the trial, that none of the details fit.

However, Victim A's account of the follow up by his foster parents should have been too much for any reasonable person to believe.

Why would they call Penn State if their foster child was a rape victim?  Shouldn't they have called the police or DPW?   And even if they wanted to confront Paterno, they didn't need to call Penn State. His home telephone number was always listed in the local phone book.

The failure of Ganim to fact check the 1971 story became obvious when the story alleged that Paterno didn't believe Victim A because of all the good things Jerry Sandusky did for the community.

Sandusky did not start The Second Mile charity until 1977 and had no track record of good works up to that point.

This story had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese, but Ganim went forward with it and CNN published it and is standing by it.  Moreover, CNN and Ganim seemingly couldn't have cared less regarding Victim A's molestation by a priest.   This was another example of Ganim's pattern of putting the emphasis of her writing on demeaning Penn State officials instead of on the safety and welfare of children.

However, the death blow to this story was when Ganim eventually revealed the corroborating source of Victim A's allegations was (very recently deceased) State College resident, Bernie McCue.

McCue was a well known Paterno hater who was featured in the movie, Happy Valley, as he conducted a one man protest at the Paterno statue. McCue spent much of his time scribbling vulgar, derogatory messages in newspapers and magazines with his red pen, then leaving them in public places for people to discover.  

It was clear to anyone with a functioning brain that McCue was a biased source at best and a very unreliable one at that.

And so was/is Mike McQueary.

But unreliable sources -- and the facts -- seemingly don't matter to Ganim.

Ganim's implication that McQueary's abuse claim was significant in the prosecution of ten boys was flatly refuted by the Moulton Report.  From the column:

McQueary's claim of abuse and other allegations led to Sandusky's conviction in 2012 for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, including three victims after the 2001 locker room incident. 

While the Moulton Report confirmed that McQueary's report was important in restarting the investigation, the report concluded key evidence leading to the eventual arrest and conviction of Sandusky was the 1998 police report.   That report, allegedly obtained by the state police in January 2011, led to the identification of Victims 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Interestingly, the police never identified a victim in the McQueary incident, most likely because no victim has corroborated McQueary's account of slapping noises coming from the shower followed by a face-to-face encounter -- that he alleged happened on February 9, 2011.

The only thing remotely accurate about Ganim's recent story was that the details of McQueary's discussion with Paterno in 2001 still remain a matter of debate -- and for good reason.

They've never been corroborated by anyone in an actual court case.

"Jerry doesn't like girls"

Ganim has pushed the Penn State cover up narrative all along -- no matter how ridiculous the scenarios.

In Saturday's story, she provided yet another incredible scenario in which Paterno confided to McQueary that Dottie Sandusky told his wife, Sue, that Jerry doesn't like girls.

"The police report also notes, again according to McQueary, that Paterno told the young assistant that his wife, Sue Paterno, once had told the head coach that Sandusky's wife, Dottie Sandusky, "told her Jerry doesn't like girls."
Attorneys for the Paterno family and for Dottie Sandusky did not respond to CNN's requests for comment."

A legal representative of the Paterno family categorically denied today that "Sue and Dottie ever had that conversation."

Dottie Sandusky also rejected the hearsay account given by McQueary.  She wrote:

"I never said that.  Jer helped lots of girls - fact is two testified at trial."

It is simply not believable that Dottie Sandusky would imply that her husband was a homosexual or a preferential sexual child molester to the wife of his former employer.

It also strains credulity that Joe Paterno, who told McQueary on that February 2001 Saturday morning that he wouldn't even consider talking to him about a full time assistant coaching job, would then turn around and  disclose information of a personal nature about a former employee (to a non-employee).

In summary, this whole story is so incredible that it seems that the entire thing has been fabricated.

And maybe it was....

Mistake or Fabrication?
One of the most interesting aspects about the Sandusky criminal case is that the key witness, McQueary, did not get the year of the incident correct when he first reported it to the police.

If this was as traumatic an incident as McQueary alleged (recall that he was visibly shaken) then there is very little chance that he could not have remembered the year (according to research on trauma and memory).

In what can only be described as an extreme case of irony, analysis reveals that Ganim, whose reporting is shoddy at best, may have confused the year of the newly discovered police report.

"McQueary's police interview was conducted by a state trooper on November 23, 2011, just two weeks after Sandusky's arrest. It followed up on an earlier interview and focused on McQueary's conversation with Joe Paterno on that Saturday morning in 2001. The trooper could not be reached for comment."

More importantly....

"McQueary never testified publicly about the police report or the new details it reveals. The report was written days after Sandusky's arrest in 2011, soon after the 2001 allegation first came to the attention of police."

According to the Moulton Report (see below), McQueary originally contacted police about the 2001 incident on November 10, 2010 and the police interviewed him on November 22, 2010.   Sandusky was arrested on November 5, 2011.

 As is often the case, police reports may not be written until a day or two after an investigative event occurs.  The 1998 investigation, which was the focus of Ganim's recent allegations that Paterno may have known of earlier sexual abuse by Sandusky, closed on June 1, 1998 but the report was not finalized until June 3rd.

The November 22, 2010 interview with McQueary was not documented in a police report until November 23, 2010.

Ganim later wrote, ironically under the subheading "Degrees of Detail," that the police interview with McQueary occurred on November 23, 2011 -- one year to the day later.

Coincidence?  Or a mistake?

It's easy to get years mixed up, especially just as the calendar turns over.

Pennsylvania state trooper Scott Rossman worked the Jerry Sandusky case from 2009 through Sandusky's arrest in 2011.  His signature appears at the bottom of the two page 2010 report.  As you will read, this report contains none of the sensational allegations that appeared in Ganim's column.

Time for Sara Ganim to put forth some reality instead of putting forth fantasies.

If she and CNN have a police report from November 23, 2011, then  let's see it.