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.


  1. Long, but well worth the read. Thanks Ray!

  2. Is Freeh's full statement available online anywhere?

    I thought it odd that Freeh was the one who filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit when Spanier's lawyers agreed they couldn't win given Spanier's criminal conviction. Wouldn't it have been better PR for Freeh to let Spanier's lawyers ask the court to dismiss it?

    1. Tim,
      I don't think it is online. I will post the statements soon.

      I don't have an opinion on whether or not PR would have been better. I don't think this dismissal got much PR outside of local reporting.

    2. I think the dismissal of Spanier's lawsuit against Freeh got considerable national coverage including NY Times, Washington Post, ESPN and Chicago Tribune.

      In contrast, the criminal trial judge, Boccabella, rejecting Spanier's appeal got very little coverage, just PennLive and Daily Collegian are all that I have seen.

  3. Yes, all of the new laws initiated an increase in reporting, from seeing a kid getting spanked in a store to exes using abuse allegations to get revenge...Not a single case of abuse was prevented. Of course in LA, an at risk kid is lucky to reach puberty without being a victim of a gang-banging or drug deal gone bad. At any one time, there are 76 LAUSD teachers under investigation for abuse, and all of them have passed rigorous background checks.

    Your analysis still has the undercurrent that Sandusky is guilty. I don't buy into that yet. Those men were passed like pinballs between prosecutors, police, civil attorneys, and Gillum for years before they came up with the final script. Red flags everywhere, and until a proper investigation is completed, I remain open minded. Maybe it comes down to whether you think soaping a boy up and rubbing tummies is a crime or weird, stupid behavior. I have seen a lot of the latter when I was growing up, and nobody made a big deal out of it. It's not the 50's and 60's anymore, but that's the environment JS grew up in.

    1. Gregory,
      Aaron Fisher admitted to being indecently assaulted (fondled over his clothes) on the very first occasion he disclosed being a victim (to CMHS Principal Karen Probst). That is documented on the CY-48 form (Sandusky PCRA Vol 2, page 476)

      Next, when he met with CYS's Jessica Dershem (before speaking with Gillum) he admitted to being in bed with Sandusky, that Sandusky had put his hands on his buttocks, and blown raspberries on his stomach. Sandusky confirmed being in bed with Fisher and blowing raspberries, but stated he could not remember if his hands went below Fisher's waist.

      Sandusky couldn't remember? Yeah. And, seriously, do you really believe that Sandusky only blew on Fisher's stomach or that he was blowing lower than that.

      Dershem was a bit surprised that Sandusky made the admissions that he did or said that he couldn't remember what happened because most perpetrators flatly deny the allegations of the victims (especially being in bed with a child).

      So, this isn't just about admissions of soaping up boys -- it's far worse than that.

      Nothing I've written so far has anything to do with Mike Gillum.

      After Fisher met with Dershem, then went to talk to Gillum.

      At that initial meeting in November 2008, Fisher disclosed there was oral sex between him and Sandusky, but wouldn't elaborate on the details.

      This is commonly known as incremental disclosure and pertains to almost any type of incident that is embarrassing or humiliating to a person, whether they are an adult or a child.

      Next, allegations that Gillum counseled multiple victims before the trial are simply untrue. Gillum counseled Fisher only (prior to the trial).

      Finally, a proper investigation has never been done in this case.

      If one had, Jerry Sandusky would have been arrested long before November 2011.

  4. Nice to know what your biases are. Our opinions differ in that I look at the statements of a pathological liar with a jaundiced eye. If they had such a solid case against JS, why all of the hoaxes, lies, and chicanery? It does not compute. I have no clue as to what JS actually did, but it's nice to know that someone does in a case that appears to be hoaxes inside of ruses inside of strategems.

    As far as Freeh and Ganim are concerned, they are using the tried and true strategy that repeating a lie as often as possible makes it the truth. It works pretty well with people with no analytic thinking skills, which is about 95% of the population. You have to debunk this immediately. I don't think anyone has stood up and said that &#$% is a lie/hoax and XYZ is a damn liar. Al Lord tried it, but the throngs that should have vociferously back him up cowered out. Sad....very sad.

    1. Gregory,
      The hoaxes in the case weren't done to convict Jerry -- they were done to convict Spanier (and Penn State).

      That confuses a lot of people.

    2. Ray - I thought you advocated that the 2000 shower incident allegedly witnessed by a PSU janitor was a hoax by prosecutors?

      Sandusky was convicted for that incident based solely on one questionable hearsay witness with no victim ever identified.

    3. Tim,
      The purpose for fabricating that incident was to show that Penn State had a "football culture" and that the reason the janitors didn't report was fear that the University would come down on them for reporting Sandusky.

      Realize that if that incident was thrown out, as it should have been, two things would have happened:

      1. Freeh's narrative that PSU had a culture issue from top (Spanier) to the bottom (janitors) would have evaporated.

      2. Sandusky would have been convicted of five less crimes -- but still be in jail for life.

      Got it?

    4. Gregory,
      As far as biases and repeating lies go, you seem to have become a victim of that as well.

      There are several pathological liars involved in the scandal, but Aaron Fisher isn't one of them. He was unfortunately labeled as an unreliable witness by -- SARA GANIM. The fact was that Fisher named the eventual Victim 9 on the first day he was interviewed and that police never followed up on that lead. The case wasn't stagnant because of Fisher, but because the police and AG didn't begin actively investigating the case until November 2010.

      The Moulton Report confirmed that Sandusky could have been arrested much earlier in police took the most basic investigative steps.

      The AG informed Gillum that they had evidence of the 1998 incident back in June 2009. They did not act on that evidence until January 2011.

      Hoaxes? The biggest hoax is that the OAG was investigating Sandusky from March 2009 until November 2010.

    5. Aaron Fisher had a history of making up stories. He was addicted to pornography. Accounts from his friends and girlfriend contradict what was said in his book. Gillum is a quack. I think that there is enough uncertainty to demand an independent investigation. Personally, I think that he is a damn liar. I have no idea if JS abused him or not, but the narrative surrounding him has a stench to it.

  5. Many thanks Ray, for helping to expose this very sick and unethical man, Louis Freeh.

    The citizens of this country that go to work everyday and struggle with bills and the trials of an honest life, must wake up to the fact that there is a network of corruption that works against us on all levels.

    Louis Freeh is part of this network. Ken Frazier is part of this network. Josh Shapiro is part of this network. And Trump too, is part of this network.

    The corrupt mainstream media gives us both Josh Shapiro and Ken Frazier already interacting with, and playing off of "President" Donald Trump's bad guy image. Somehow we're supposed to believe that Josh Shapiro and Ken Frazier are both highly ethical men that take the moral high ground as they denounce Trump's ambiguous responses to "hatred". But we in Pennsylvania that have closely followed the Freeh-crafted illusion of a Penn State "child sex abuse scandal", know quite well that Ken Frazier and Josh Shapiro are both major players in maintaining this Freeh illusion. By helping to absolve The Second Mile of any responsibility for Sandusky's crimes, Shapiro and Frazier are exposing themselves as soulless unethical criminals. They have both upheld Louis Freeh's mental illness that gives him the "right" to hang innocent people.

    1. How did that New York street tough Donald Trump get involved in this? Yes, Shapiro, Frazier, Freeh, Peetz, Fina, and the entire Corbett cabal should be in orange jump suits. They are all crooks.

    2. GV: Donald Trump was pre-determined to be where he is by the "shadow government" or "deep state", whatever you want to call it. He was probably designed 30 years ago to serve the purpose he is now serving.

      America's shadow government is the equivalent of the old world money changers----the Wall Street banksters, the oil barons, media moguls and the Rothschilds----mocking us all with their "coincidentally predicted" President Trump in their Simpsons cartoon. Forever in the shadows, and forever mocking, they are cowards with some power because they own our media and control our money. Yes, they control our perception of ourselves as a nation, and they control our perception of the world around us. They allow, but control voting to ensure the Trumps, Obamas, and the Clinton and Bush crime families get into office.
      We hate who they show us we should hate. And we worship those they decide we should worship.

      Trump is who we are supposed to hate, because he was scripted to be hated. He is a caricature of the self-absorbed white nationalist that has no place in America or the world any longer. And because Trump is intentionally disgracing America, we're supposed to believe it's our democracy and American pride that is a failure.

      So our wonderful de facto government co-opted with their lying media are pushing fascism wrapped up in the term globalism as the answer to America's supposed white male leadership failure.

      Everything dirty and wrong with America begins in New York City and Philadelphia. Thus, Josh Shapiro and Ken Frazier need the New York street tough, Donald Trump to elevate themselves into sainthood.

    3. ROTFL! Filthydelphia! Godless New York! At least they worship Baal in LALA Land. Trump says what a lot of people think. He is an expert at exploiting what divides people. He is what happens after people get tired of political correctness.