Thursday, November 23

Sally Jenkins Email -- The rest of the story

After only a cursory review of the Freeh Report, I sent an email to Sally Jenkins and Sara Ganim challenging some of the findings/assertions in the report.  Jenkins provided a weak response to just one of the challenges and had no response for the rest.  Ganim, as usual, didn’t respond at all.

Ray Blehar

In Tuesday's blogpost, I shared an email response that Sally Jenkins sent me on July 13, 2012 -- just a day after Louis Freeh released the Freeh Report and held a widely televised press conference.   

What you didn't see is my initial email to Jenkins and Sara Ganim that challenged several of the assertions made by Freeh.  

From: Ray Blehar []
Sent: 07/13/2012 02:25 PM MST
To: "" <>; Sally Jenkins
Subject: Freeh report - evidentiary leaps

In reading through the Freeh report and hearing some of his public statements, I found that some of the conclusions about Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and Paterno are unsupported by the evidence in the report and the report relies on hindsight in a number of occasions to proscribe how PSU officials should have reacted to the incidents.  While many of the conclusions in the report are correct and undeniable, I believe Judge Freeh took evidentiary leaps or used information that occurred outside of the timeframe of the incidents to come to the conclusions and/or suggest actions.  

1.  Freeh states Paterno (among others) was kept informed of the 1998 investigation.

This is unsupported by the evidence, which consist of just two e-mails.  The first e-mail vaguely states the coach was informed and the second that he inquired about the status.  There is no evidence of other updates to Paterno.  Based on the evidence, Freeh cannot even reasonably conclude that Paterno got EVEN one update.  Freeh also admits that his investigation could not find information that Paterno was even informed of the result of the 1998 investigation.

Jenkins attempted to defend this argument, stating that the two emails were "slam dunks" that "Paterno was fully briefed on a police investigation he followed anxiously in 1998."

For the record, here are those "slam dunk" emails.

These emails provide no evidence of the information Curley may have relayed to Paterno.  
Other emails regarding the 1998 incident between Schultz and Curley were also devoid of any details of the investigation and, at most, provided progress updates.   There is clearly no evidence that Paterno was fully briefed on the 1998 police investigation.

Jenkins did not address this challenge.
2. Freeh states:  “Many, many witnesses we spoke to described Paterno as one the most powerful leaders on campus,” Freeh said. “He could have stopped it.”

Repeating what people believe to be true and what is the truth are two different things.  Freeh provides no evidence (other than opinion) that demonstrates Joe Paterno was in a position of power - or had a leading role - in the decisions regarding Sandusky's actions in 1998 and 2001 or in Sandusky's retirement. 

*Freeh references a number of meetings and discussions between Curley, Schultz, and Spanier, yet it is mind-boggling that the most powerful man on campus is not invited to the meetings nor can Freeh provide any credible evidence that Paterno played a role in the decision-making process. 

*Freeh's report provided contradictory evidence to Paterno's power on campus when it reports that Detective Schreffler received no interference from the administration in the 1998 investigation of Sandusky.  Wouldn't it make sense that Detective Schreffler and the police force would have immediately informed Paterno of the outcome of the investigation, given his importance on campus?   Yet, Freeh cannot even uncover a piece of evidence indicated Paterno was informed of the outcome. 

*The Freeh Report produces scant evidence - in the form of handwritten margin notes - that Paterno had a role in determining Sandusky's retirement package.   In fact, the evidence - in the form of correspondence - clearly shows that "one of the most powerful" men on campus was not consulted during the negotiations of the retirement of his top assistant coach.

*The Freeh Report ignores the Washington Post interview (used in another instance to imply Paterno was untruthful about 1998) where Joe Paterno describes himself as "in a dilemma" about Sandusky because he was no longer Jerry's boss. While this interview was conducted long after the 2001 incident, it provides information that provides how Joe viewed his role in decision making outside of the football program.

Jenkins did not address this challenge.
3.  Freeh states:  "The avoidance of bad publicity is the most significant, but not the only cause...."

This conclusion, purported to be based on interviews of over 400 people and review of 3.5 million e-mails is supported by a single hearsay statement (p. 78) provided by the Second Mile legal counsel who reported what the Second Mile CEO told him.  The Second Mile CEO allegedly told the counsel that Curley told him "to avoid publicity issues."   It is certainly more likely, based on all the evidence in the Freeh report, that the most significant or possible explanation that PSU officials chose to report the incident to Second Mile was as a means of seeking professional help for Sandusky.

Jenkins did not address this challenge.
 4.  Regarding the aftermath of the 1998 incidence, Freeh states:  "Nothing in the record indicates that Curley and Schultz discussed whether Paterno should restrict or terminate Sandusky's uses of the facilities or that Paterno conveyed any such expectations to Sandusky."

This suggested course of action does not make sense given the fact that a) in 1998, Sandusky was fully employed by PSU as the Defensive Coordinator of the football team and needed access to facilities to perform his job;  b) that Sandusky was not charged with a crime and that the Department of Welfare's investigation concluded in that child abuse was unfounded;  c) up until that incident, PSU had no reason to believe that Sandusky's interactions  with children were anything but altruistic; and d) that providing the Second Mile children with access to the PSU football facilities and football team provided many with a positive influence on their lives.

Jenkins did not address this challenge. 
 5.  The Freeh report condemns PSU for allowing "Sandusky to retire in 1999, not as a suspected child predator, as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy..."

At the time of Sandusky's retirement, PSU officials were aware of one unfounded allegation of child abuse against Sandusky.  The suggestion that they would somehow change his retirement package and access based unfounded allegation of child abuse, weighed against 30 years of service to PSU is unfathomable. 

Raymond M. Blehar
Annapolis, MD

Not to beat a dead horse, but here was Jenkin's response.  Note that she also conflates the 1998 incident with the 2001 incident, stating: "PSU officials carefully avoided knowing so much as the name of the child, much less making inquiries about them"  and that PSU officials "were concerned about being humane towards 'Jerry.'"  

Jenkins closes by stating that she would be fair and open-minded, however her subsequent reporting on Paterno has been completely negative and she accepted every cockamamie story that came out of the PSU settlement process.

In closing, Jenkins should stick to writing about sports.  She is more proof that sportswriters are out of their league when they try to assess the veracity of evidence in legal cases.


  1. Ray as we discussed, I sent Ganim a congratulatory email within days of her initial story and encouraged her to keep digging, because her story screamed of political corruption and cover up of government failures. She never replied and then the media with the help of Commissioner Noonan turned it into a PSU story. That story has always been a better national seller than some little known charity and local known Governor. Now it is old news that is acceped as fact.

    1. Mike,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Based on the evidence, Ganim and the Patriot News were involved in covering up the misconduct of the OAG. They knew that the OAG possessed the 1998 police report before January 2011 and, therefore also knew that they were lying about Aaron Fisher being the only known victim prior to McQueary coming forward.

      They were completely on board with sticking it to PSU...quid pro quo if you will.

      No media outlet has ever examined the Freeh Report to verify the findings for good reason -- Freeh confirmed the story that they liked.

  2. Hasn't Sally Jenkins' 'one solid fact' of 'children raped in the PSU shower room' been shown to be everything other than a solid fact? Sally Jenkins' 'solid fact' is now known to be a lie perpetrated by Tom Corbett, Linda Kelly, Frank Noonan, and Louie the liar Freeh. And Mike McQueary was essentially bribed with millions to let Corbett's OAG run with the lie.

    I wonder if Sally Jenkins feels like she's been "knocked back on her ass"? No, probably not. If she feels a need to talk and write like a hard-drinking male sportscaster then she's probably in denial about a lot of things.

    1. Truthseeker,
      Sally Jenkins famously defended Lance Armstrong's innocence regarding doping for cycling. Even after Armstrong admitted to doping and that he lied to Jenkins, she wrote a column defending him.

      One writer labeled Jenkins "the Queen of Gullibility."

      He hit the nail on the head.

  3. Until the university (the BOT) determines that changing the narrative is in its best interest, it will not change, IMO. The press will not challenge this on its own.

    As for Joe's knowledge of the '98 investigation, what could he have been told?

    If a friend tells you he's going to the doctor and the next time you see him, you ask how it went, what does he say? If it was no big deal, he probably says it went well and that's it. No reason for him/her to share details. No reason for you to ask.

    In this case, nobody accused Jerry of abuse. No sexual intent was discovered. CYS didn't indicate him. The DA didn't charge him. Other than to tell Joe that nothing came of the investigation and that the matter was closed, what would you think Tim would say? Why would Joe want to know more than that?

    And how is any of this some kind of smoking gun? Is Sally suggesting that Joe and the police had a comparable understanding of the facts? And what, it's fine that every responsible government entity did absolutely nothing to restrict Jerry's access to children, but Joe should have done something? Does she truly not see ow ridiculous her position is?

    Thanks for what you do Ray. It's appreciated.

    1. Howard,
      Thanks for your comment.

      While I didn't go into greater detail in the story about what Joe knew about 1998, the bottom line is that Curley testified that he alerted JVP to the investigation, asked for one update from Schultz (to which Schultz had nothing to report), and then told Joe the investigation closed with no charges.

      There is no evidence that Joe was given any details. The email exchanges between Curley and Schultz were benign. None of them even mentioned Jerry showering with a child and, more importantly, there was no mention of criminal behavior.

      Sally's position is ridiculous, however, she is one among many sportswriters who believe that Paterno should have banned Sandusky from the facilities after the 1998 incident (even though he was still coaching) and then somehow kept him under constant surveillance after he retired from PSU.

  4. Louis lying Freeh KNEW that Joe was not the most powerful man on campus, and he had the evidence to prove that point. It was in Sandusky's retirement letter, Joe said he did not want Sandusky bringing kids onto the Football Facilities, yet he was overruled. If you are the most powerful man on campus how is it you can't even control who has access to the facilities that you are in charge of?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. You are right about one thing, Ray. If sports reporters had any intelligence, they would be employed elsewhere. Not a single media persona as much as contacted a local DA to find out how abuse allegations are handled.

  7. My impression was that Sandusky was offered an "early out" along with hundreds of employees of the State of Pennsylvania. These usually come with incentives, and Jerry cut his best deal. This is SOP in many government agencies. If Sally didn't understand this, she is beyond stupid. And as they say, there is no cure for stupid!

    1. Freeh, and others, provided clear evidence that Sandusky retired because Paterno told him, prior to the 1998 shower incident, that he would not be the next head coach because he spent too much time on his charity. Sandusky picked his charity over being head coach, and retired from PSU football.

      PSU tried to keep Sandusky by offering him an Asst. AD position, but he turned that down. Then PSU tried to set up a branch campus football team for him to coach but that proved to be too expensive.

      Sandusky was offered the head coach position at UVA in Dec. 2000. Negotiations broke down, and he never took the job. If there had been rumors of Sandusky being a pedophile, UVA would never have offered him a job. Too bad Freeh never asked UVA officials why negotiations broke down.

  8. On point 4, Paterno did write on Sandusky's 1999 retirement proposal that Sandusky should not be able to bring Second Mile kids into the PSU training facilities because it was an insurance liability problem. Freeh mentioned that in a footnote but then ignored it as did reporters.

    Freeh and reporters apparently never bothered to investigate if PSU insurance would have covered Second Mile kids if they had been injured in the PSU football facilities.

    Freeh and reporters apparently never bothered to investigate if other football staff and retired football staff brought their children/grandchildren into the football facilities to work out.

    I don't see how Freeh was at all qualified to be the FBI director and a federal judge when he just cherry picks evidence and ignores contradictory evidence. The Freeh Report is like a grand jury presentment, with Freeh as the prosecutor.

    We never did find out if Freeh independently developed his opinions about Curley, Schultz and Spanier or if he simply got them from the OAG. Was the Freeh Report a blueprint for the Spanier grand jury presentment or the other way around?

    If the latter, then Freeh benefited from grand jury leaks. That may be why PSU spent tens of millions to prevent the Freeh Report supporting documents from being made public in several lawsuits. It cost PSU $60 million just to settle the Corman v. NCAA lawsuit after the judge signaled she would invalidate all the NCAA sanctions, including the $60 million fine.

    1. Organizations that use PSU (or anybody's) facility most certainly sign a "release of liability and promise to idemnify" agreement. Any injury to a Second Mile child would be the responsibility of Second Mile. Even private clubs that sponsor such things as outdoor outings have their members sign these.
      As far as I can remember, PSU had their athletic facilities open to the community. When I moved out west, myself and friends used the facilities at UNLV, UCLA, and countless community colleges with no questions asked. We could even reserve racquetball courts. It has only been recently that they have gotten into a risk avoidance mode. If all dogs go to heaven, all lawyers go to hell!

    2. I was referring to the football facilities with exercise machines designed for 300 pound football players. A child could easily get hurt on something like that. The football facilities Sandusky used were never open to the public.

      Freeh never mentioned if Sandusky was allowed to keep his keys to the Lasch Building after retirement, just kept them or made copies before he turned them in. Maybe Sandusky didn't have keys but got in anyway with a wave to the security guard.

      I doubt Second Mile ever signed any release. Those kind of releases don't work because the parents of an injured child would sue PSU anyway because of their deep pockets.

      PSU has since decided to close their recreation buildings to the public and limit their use to students, faculty and staff. They have to show a PSU ID card to gain entry.

    3. @TimBerton - you make the same point I have been asking for over 5 years now. Bringing 12-14 year old boys, or even younger, to monkey around on equipment designed for ELITE ADULT MALE ATHLETES is an accident waiting to happen.

      Many health clubs & a lot of spas don't want anyone under the age of 16 in their facilities.

      Teenage boys are perfectly capable of hurting themselves doing the stupidest things. Teenage girls are too, for that matter.

      So when Tim Curley is meeting with Jack Raykovitz (at the Autoport of all places - sheesh!) and describes an incident where Jerry is clearly engaged in out of program contact with a Second Mile youth, and Jack doesn't ponder any liability for this unapproved "outing".

      Tim bounces all kids from being accompanied into campus buildings by Jerry - and Jack doesn't ponder the implications of what that might mean for the charity?

      This is the sort of shit Lynne Abraham was supposed to be finding out for us - and of course, she dropped from the radar 6 short weeks later in January 2012.

    4. @WendySilverwood - I certainly agree with you. Jack Raykovitz should have been the one indicted for child endangerment. He admitted under oath that Sandusky told him in 2001 that it was a Second Mile boy. That made it Raykovitz's duty to report to Childline.

      Raykovitz telling Sandusky to wear a swimsuit when showering with boys should have assured a conviction because he was condoning Sandusky's showering with Second Mile boys.

      If the ruling by Spanier's judge holds up on appeal then Raykovitz could still be indicted. The Spanier judge ruled that the statute of limitations for child endangerment charges for the 2001 shower incident doesn't expire until 2039.

    5. @TimBerton - I have been hammering Josh "No One Is Above The Law" Shapiro about this. While this post is about Sally Jenkins, and my comment is off topic, I'm going to go ahead and discuss it anyway.

      Jack Raykovitz answered Attorney Silver's questions at Dr. Spanier's trial - and unless he was lying on the stand - he stated that Jerry's role with the charity was that of Chairman, Fundraiser and Emcee at TSM events. Jerry did not provide therapy or counseling to TSM youth.

      So, it is reasonable to conclude - that at least with the 1998 incident that was escalated thru the system - that Jack Raykovitz knew Jerry was accessing TSM youth outside of his prescribed role with the program. Tim Curley is meeting with Jack in March 2001, and Jack knows that Jerry is with a TSM youth in yet again, another incident of out of program contact.

      This is the core issue - Jerry was bringing these kids home like they were stray dogs, parading TSM kids around like they were mini-mascots, driving over to their homes and individually accessing these kids. Jack didn't put a stop to that. If he had sat Jerry down after Tim's complaint - and implemented stricter oversight and reined in Jerry with his behavior around TSM youth, then Aaron Fisher never happens.

      At Spanier's trial - I had to explain to a number of the reporters there how irresponsible it was of Raykovitz to tell the jury his reasoning for advising swim trunks.

      If I'm an offender, my whole goal of getting a youth into a locker room, a shower, a bedroom or a bathroom - is to get them to undress. This breaks down barriers.

      It doesn't matter what the hell I'm wearing . I could be dressed as Odette from Swan Lake and playing on the floor with a box of kittens. I want the youth undressed.

      Jeezus - for ANY licensed child health professional to not recognize this aspect of the GROOMING process and to NOT explain to his charity chairman that the word "GROOMING" is NOT something you want associated with a kid's charity - is mind boggling!

      Especially after Dr. Chambers referenced Grooming in her 1998 evaluation. I find it hard to believe that once she discussed the 1998 incident with her peers, that it didn't get around among the local psychologists during any cocktail parties or networking events.

      Which has me ask once again - what hell was going on over at the Second Mile?

    6. I think what was going on at Second Mile was that Raykovitz and his wife were getting rich off the donors for doing very little work.

      Second Mile seemed to pad their charitable work by claiming that every child that even received one of their pamphlets was one of the children they served.

      I never did hear what percentage of donations went for charitable work versus overhead and fundraising. I doubt it was really exceptional.

  9. Ray,

    First, thank you for you continued hard work on the Second Mile scandal. I'm still concerned that only a relatively small group of us really care about the truth coming out and getting wide publicity. It seems that most just want to "move on" and put all this in the past and hold no one at Penn State accountable for their gross mishandling of things.

    To change the subject a bit, I wonder if anyone has read "The Most Hated Man in America, Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgement" by Mark Pendergrast. I'm about a third of the way through it and so far impressed with what he's put together here. I won't be holding my breath that it'll change the public perception of what happened but hope it will at least open a few eyes. I got the book on Amazon for my Kindle for about $8 and it seems well worth it.

    1. Jeff,
      There is some movement on the publicity front and a story about the scandal will be written by a major newspaper.

      I have not read the book you referenced, however I discussed some of the themes of the book with the author while he was writing it. In my opinion, he is trying to force fit his theory that the victim's and witnesses memories were somehow altered to convict Sandusky. That's complete nonsense.

      The bottom line is that the few victims who changed their stories from the grand jury to the trial had NO IMPACT on the verdict. Mr. Pendergrast discusses Victim 7's therapy at length, however at the trial Victim 7's change to his story did not result in any additional charges or verdicts.

      Mr. Pendergrast also contends that Sandusky would not be in prison if it had not been for Aaron Fisher's counseling sessions. That is also nonsense. The Moulton Report made it clear that the PA OAG would NOT ARREST Sandusky based on Aaron Fisher's allegations alone. Also, Mr. Pendegrast simply ignores the fact that Fisher didn't have any trouble remembering his victimization and told his high school principal he was indecently touched the very first time he was interviewed. He also admitted to oral sex the first time he spoke with Mike Gillum, his therapist.

      I informed Mr. Pendergrast that this scandal isn't about recovered memories -- it's about public corruption and PA politics.

  10. On Point 1, I remember Jenkins made headlines by writing that she believed Paterno lied to her about not knowing about any other abuse by Sandusky prior to 2001.

    Even if Paterno remembered the 1998 investigation, that was determined to be an unfounded allegation. So there was no abuse in 1998, and Paterno did not lie.

    If Paterno did remember the 1998 investigation, I wouldn't be surprised if prosecutors asked not to mention it in order to keep mistakes by CYS and DPW out of the news. If Paterno had mentioned that CYS and DPW investigated Sandusky in 1998 but mistakenly found no abuse, that could have changed the focus. Imagine if Paterno said at the grand jury that CYS, DPW and Second Mile screwed up in 1998.

    The question Paterno was asked at the grand jury was very carefully phrased so that Paterno could answer no, even if he remembered the 1998 investigation. Paterno was asked,

    "Other than the incident that Mike McQueary reported to you, do you know in any way, through rumor, direct knowledge or any other fashion, of any other inappropriate sexual conduct by Jerry Sandusky with young boys?"

    The 1998 investigation concluded there was no "inappropriate sexual conduct" by Sandusky so Paterno could truthfully answer no.