There are two major problems with the allegations that PSU officials didn't report Sandusky to authorities in 2001. The first, and most obvious problem, is that under the law, PSU officials DID report it to the proper authorities. In fact, they did it twice. The second problem is that no one has considered that the PSU report was ignored by authorities.
Report to CYSGary Schultz and Wendell Courtney recalled reporting the incident to Children and Youth Services. Schultz's statement is on page 213 of the Preliminary Perjury hearing transcripts, while Courtney's is on page 84 of the Freeh Report.
For some reason, these reports were immediately discounted because PSU didn't report the incident to DPW. Legally, a report to DPW is not required if a report was made to CYS. CYS has the responsibility, once notified, to file an abuse report with ChildLine.
Despite the Freeh team spending nine months on the PSU campus, there is no indication in the Freeh Report that the team took any investigative steps to determine if that report occurred. Certainly, a group that could pin point the exact date and time of an internet search conducted 11 years prior (to find the chair of Second Mile) should have the wherewithal to check some phone records at PSU or CYS or check call logs to determine if a report was made. But those investigative steps weren't taken.
Also, few have considered that the OAG investigator did not check to see if a report was made in 2001. Detective Anthony Sassano stated at the Preliminary Perjury hearing that he contacted CYS and DPW to check on a 2002 report of abuse. Sassano indicated the agency officials answered negatively, however, Sassano also stated that DPW had a record of the incident in its possession. At some point, the Commonwealth expunged this record, but it appears the record survived at least until Sassano made the inquiry.
Given the above, the Commonwealth bears the burden of proving that Schultz and/or Courtney did not make the report. That's a tall order because the state can only rely on the testimony of the DPW investigator, Jerry Lauro (who is not a reliable witness) and Carol Smith, a CYS official who has every reason to want to shift the blame for Sandusky on PSU after her agency's miserable performance in 1998.
Report to Second MileIt is well documented and insdisputable that PSU made a report of the 2001 incident to The Second Mile. Bruce Heim, a board member of the charity, stated he considered it a non-incident because he knew that Sandusky showered with children frequently. Heim told Raykovitz not to report the incident to The Second Mile Board.
The Pennsylvania law on the books at the time of the incident required that PSU officials either make a report or cause an incident to be reported. Considering that The Second Mile was responsible for the welfare of the child in question in the 2001 incident, and that Sandusky was an employee under contract of The Second Mile, it is beyond dispute that The Second Mile should have reported the incident.
No one, except one person, involved in the reporting of the incident at PSU should be considered a mandated reporter under the law. A mandated reporter must come in contact with children as part of their professional duties. Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz, and Tim Curley were in positions where they were not required to interact with minors. The only person in the employment of PSU in 2001 who had interactions with children, as part of his job duties, was -- Mike McQueary. McQueary had this interaction through his work at youth sports camps.
ComplacencyMany have opined that PSU officials may have went soft on Sandusky because of the previous investigation of him in 1998 that resulted in no charges. I think that is a plausible explanation. Why pull in the police and the child welfare caseworkers for another investigation of a likely similar incident? Just tell Sandusky to knock off the showering with kids and have The Second Mile get him some help with this "quirky" behavior.
And while Second Mile is at it, send Bruce Heim to class with Jerry because Heim didn't think there was anything wrong with Jerry's behavior.
However, few have considered the complacency that was even more likely to have set in at CYS and DPW.
Consider that Sandusky successfully navigated the system's various background checks to become the adoptive father of five sons and a daughter, a foster parent, a host for a half-dozen Fresh Air Fund children from New York City and a congressional honoree as an "Angel in Adoption."
Court records also show Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, were designated to coordinate visits with his grandchildren in 2010 when one son's marriage began to disintegrate.
Pennsylvania laws require that licensed social workers screen prospective families through a number of nets, including FBI checks and child abuse clearances. Prospective parents undergo reference checks, interviews and a medical report that asks a physician to certify that an individual is mentally and physically prepared to be a parent.
Therefore state (DPW) and county (CYS) officials had been dealing with the Sandusky's for decades prior to the 1998 incident to conduct the screenings for he and Dottie as adoptive and foster parents. Those agencies had given the "green light" to the Sanduskys on numerous occasions, thus had little reason to suspect anything untoward about Jerry Sandusky.
Their confidence about the "goodness" of Sandusky was evident in the notes from the 1998 investigation. The caseworker from CYS, John Miller, despite having knowledge of numerous signs of possible child sexual abuse, possessing a damning psychological report, and being alerted to other possible victims was unsure about pressing forward with the investigation. He called a meeting at CYS for them to "decide what to do."
As police records reveal, CYS procured John Seasock (at the request of DPW) to conduct a second evaluation of one of the children who were the subjects of the investigation in 1998. This evaluation was done over the objections of ADA Karen Arnold and University Park Police Detective Ronald Schreffler. Seasock's evaluation stated Sandusky was not exhibiting any signs of possible sexual abuse and the 1998 investigation was effectively ended.
Given what transpired in 1998, it is certainly possible that CYS simply decided not to investigate the report of a similar sounding incident that was reported to them in 2001.
If anyone had a reason to be complacent about Jerry Sandusky, it was the child welfare officials who had approved him as an adoptive and foster parent for decades.