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If the Truth is Out There, Ray Blehar Will Find It

by on August 07, 2013 9:00 AM

Even if you haven’t been paying attention to the court hearings, the Freeh Report, or public scapegoating, you know that over the 22 months of the Sandusky scandal, lines have been drawn in anger.

There are many sides to the story and there is extensive finger-pointing, mostly based on how key statements can be interpreted in different ways. The same testimony can be twisted to support or refute any viewpoint.

While many people cast their judgments based on quick soundbites and predetermined conclusions, there are a few voices who see through the misinterpretations, and, in some cases, the deliberate misleading of the Freeh Report, the NCAA, and child social services.

One of these voices is Ray Blehar.

More than anyone else, Ray has provided clarity on issues that have puzzled hundreds of other people. While the average reader of the Freeh Report might think something seems odd about the janitors’ eyewitness account of abuse in November 2000, Ray took a closer look at the details and discovered, based on Penn State’s payroll records, that the janitor was not a University employee during the time in question, thus could not have witnessed the crime.

See ... Ray’s not just your average arm-chair detective reading through the mountains of reports, he’s a United States government analyst, a senior requirements analyst, to be exact.

For his day job, he evaluates the affordability and performance of major systems acquisitions and, in a previous role with the Board of Examiners for the U.S. Senate, he examined aspects of organizational governance, including legal and ethical responsibilities, operational performance, and financial accountability. So basically, he knows his stuff.

Ray also received an MBA from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State, but don’t assume that this indicates loyalty to the university. He said in a recent interview with Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record, "If I have to burn Penn State to the ground, I will." I asked Ray this week what he will do if he uncovers indisputable evidence that there was an elaborate conspiracy at Penn State?

“Any evidence that I uncover that can be used in a criminal prosecution is turned over to law enforcement,” Ray says. “Past, present, and future. If that evidence incriminates people at Penn State, so be it.”

Ray is not a person you want digging through your tax returns. But there are two reasons for his dedication to his cause — fixing the gaps in the child protection system and pursuing the truth about what happened. Blehar's extensive and exhaustively detailed reports about his findings can be found by clicking HERE.

“My first report made it absolutely clear that the Freeh Report keeps children in harm's way because it whitewashed the state's failures in bringing Sandusky to justice in 1998 and then again in 2008, when the investigation lagged,” Ray says. “Putting the blame on PSU didn't do a thing to prevent the abuse of the next child.”

“Those familiar with my work understand that my priority is the protection of children, but to have a meaningful discussion on how to do that, we need to clear away the ‘noise’ that says Sandusky was able to commit his crimes because of a PSU cover-up,” Rays says. “Anyone who looks at the facts of this case understands that Sandusky was able to roam the streets for 14 years because Pennsylvania’s child protection system failed.”

Ray sees many similarities between the fallout from the Sandusky Scandal and the Duke lacrosse case from 2006. “There was an accusation of people committing a crime, the media and the university threw those accused under the bus and essentially convicted them without due process, and then the case was thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct,” Ray says.

Although parallels between the two cases might be drawn because of the sex crimes aspect, the real comparison can be made in how the court of public opinion wrongly concluded the guilt of everyone involved, as Ray believes happened with Gary Schultz, Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, and Joe Paterno.

“The Sandusky Scandal is Duke lacrosse on steroids,” he says. Ray cites the wrongful accusations of Captain Hazelwood in the Exxon Valdez tanker spill and Richard Jewell in the Olympic Park bombing as other obvious examples of the media’s rush to judgment. “Of course, Louis Freeh was in charge of the Olympic Park investigation that wrongly accused Richard Jewell.”

Louis Freeh’s report about the Sandusky scandal, which the NCAA based its sanction on and which painted an ugly picture of deliberate collusion within Penn State’s administration, has provided Ray with plenty of opportunities to point out inconsistencies. Some might wonder if the report’s mistakes were simple errors in data collection, but Ray sees it as a biased presentation of the information in the Sandusky case.

“Freeh's proclamation that his team ‘found’ the Schultz file through ‘skill and luck’ was a baldfaced lie,” Ray says. “The preliminary hearing revealed that Schultz's file was anything but secret and that Schultz himself actually turned the file over to the Attorney General’s office.”

Ray’s examination of the full report, detailed meticulously in one of his reports, (click HERE to see it) evaluated the 50 findings that the NCAA considered when it issued its sanctions against Penn State. “I found that only six could be substantiated by the evidence,” Ray says. “To call what Louis Freeh did an investigation is an embarrassment to investigators. Freeh should refund the money he was paid by PSU.”

As new details surface and the trials for the administrators come closer, Ray promises to continue looking for the truth wherever it leads. I have a feeling that when everything comes out, the Penn State community and child advocates will have a lot of reasons to thank Ray.

Update: In February 2014, Ray Blehar said he received information that the janitor mentioned above did, in fact, work at Penn State in November 2000. More details are available on Blehar's website.

Holly Swanson is a State College-based freelance writer. She is on Twitter @statecollegemom and can be reached via email at [email protected]
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