PA child abuse reporting laws require that child abuse incidents be kept confidential. Evidence throughout Appendix 2 and scenario analyses conclude “coach” was/is Sandusky.
By Ray Blehar
In my last post, I concluded, based on the evidence, that Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz were not provided with frequent updates on the 1998 investigation. In this post, I will demonstrate that the Freeh Report’s assumption that “Coach is believed to be Paterno” (page 49) is incorrect (excerpt follows).
Legal and Logical Scenario Analyses
Scenario 1 (Schultz informs Curley of a child sexual abuse allegation vs. Sandusky): Louis Freeh’s assumption is that “coach” is a reference to Paterno and that Paterno, Spanier, and Curley know the details of the investigation. Let’s examine the legality and logic of the argument.
- On May 5th, the day after the complaint was filed Shultz informed Spanier and Curley. Curley then informed Paterno.
- On May 13th, Curley states that “Coach (Paterno?) is anxious to know where it stands.”
- On Jun 9th, Schultz informs Curley that “They met with Jerry on Monday and concluded that there was no criminal behavior…he was emotional and expressed concern….the matter has been appropriately investigated and is now behind us.” (he is reference to Sandusky)
- Curley does not respond back to inform Schultz he will update the “coach.”
Legal problem with this scenario
· Under 055 Pa. Code § 3490.154, information about child abuse is confidential any may only be shared with the administrator (Schultz), law enforcement, and the county agency. Therefore, Schultz would not inform Spanier, Curley, or Paterno about the details of the case.
Logic problems with this scenario
· There is no closure with Paterno (Freeh admits he doesn’t know how Paterno was informed of the end of the investigation.
Alternative Scenario (Curley informs Sandusky on an investigation): This was a confidential investigation of a crime against a minor. Harmon’s e-mail (Exhibit 2D) about the close of the investigation is titled “Confidential.” Upon receiving this e-mail, Schultz does not forward it to Curley or Spanier. Instead, he authors a separate e-mail (Exhibit 2E) and provides a less complete version of the closure of the investigation. Exhibit 2E omits the details Sandusky admitted to showering with other children in the past.
The more logical and legal scenario is that:
- On May 5th the day after the complaint was filed, Curley informed the coach (Sandusky) he was the subject of an investigation but does not know the specifics of the investigation.
- On May 13th, Curley was checking progress on behalf of the coach (Sandusky) who is anxious to know the outcome.
- From May 13th to May 31st, there was no change in the status of the investigation
- On June 1st, Jerry Lauro and Detective Schreffler interviewed Sandusky and informed him he would not be charged with a crime. At this point, the “coach” knows the outcome of the investigation.
- On June 9th, Schultz found an e-mail dated June 1 (from Tom Harmon) in his inbox and informed Curley and Spanier that the investigation was closed and that the police had told Jerry that he would not be charged.
- Curley did not follow-up to close the loop with the “coach” – the coach got it first hand.
Legal problems: None
Logic problems: None
Conclusion: Based on the logic and legality of these scenarios, the “coach” was Jerry Sandusky, not Joe Paterno.
Circumstantial Evidence Case
The first piece of evidence indicating that the Freeh Report’s assumption may not be reasonable is the subject of the e-mail(s) – Re: Jerry (Exhibits 2B, 2C, and 2E). Jerry Sandusky was indeed a coach at the time these e-mails were sent. Therefore, it is also reasonable to believe that coach could be a reference to Sandusky, not Paterno.
“Re: Jerry” – not “Re: Jerry Sandusky.”
The second set of evidence are all of Curley and Schultz’s references to Sandusky throughout Appendices 2 and 3 of the Freeh Report. Schultz and/or Curley refer to Sandusky as “Jerry” nineteen (19) times. The only time Sandusky’s full name is used by Curley is in the retirement offer (Exhibit 3B) In Exhibits 5B, 5C, and 5D, Schultz uses the initials “JS” to refer to Sandusky. Neither Curley or Schultz use Sandusky’s full name in routine correspondence.
Re: Joe Paterno
The underlying basis for Freeh’s statement that “coach” is Paterno in the previously mentioned exhibits is made possible by the existence of Exhibit 2A, Subject: Joe Paterno. So, let’s discuss that exhibit.
The two parties exchanging e-mail are Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. We do not know who the originator is in this chain, however it is either Tim or Gary. So, next we’ll review how each man refers to Joe Paterno.
Tim Curley: Joe Paterno is “Joe”
Ask any of his former players how they addressed Joe Paterno. He was always Joe. Tim Curley called him Joe too, back when he played. And that’s why I also believe that Tim Curley’s reference to “coach” is indeed a reference to Jerry Sandusky.
Here are Curley’s own words from Exhibits 2F, 5G, 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3G.
In these e-mails, Curley never refers to Joe Paterno as “the coach.” Joe Paterno is always referred to as “Joe,” as this is how Curley addressed Joe from the time he was a walk-on player up until Joe's passing.
Gary Schultz: Joe Paterno is “JVP”Examining the correspondence of Gary Schultz at Exhibits 2H, 3E, and 5C, it is clear that Gary consistently refers to Joe Paterno as “JVP.”
Gary Schultz never uses anything other than JVP in reference to Joe Paterno.
Conclusion: The circumstantial evidence provides the basis to reasonably conclude that neither Tim Curley or Gary Schultz would refer to Joe Paterno as “coach.”
Bottom Line: It is highly likely that Exhibit 2A is either an altered e-mail or has been completely manufactured by Freeh’s group. Penn State University should retrieve the relevant file from the server to check it for authenticity.