Ray Blehar: 'Another Blow' Dealt to the Freeh Report
Federal government analyst and contributor to the 'Framing Paterno' and 'Second Mile Sandusky Scandal' websites Ray Blehar released a report Thursday that concludes the Freeh report downplayed the failure of child protective service agencies during the investigations into Jerry Sandusky's actions.
According to a press release, Blehar's report confirms no safety plan was enacted during the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. Law enforcement records referenced in the report confirm that Sandusky continued to interact with children throughout the investigation. For example, Sandusky was seen at baseball practices of two of the children who were the subjects of the investigation, which caused one mother to summon the police, again.
Sandusky had full access to children during the investigation and, as trial records indicate, was likely abusing Victim 4 at the time of the investigation and no formal safety plan was put in place during the 2008-11 investigation, according to Blehar.
The report states the root cause of the Freeh report has many flaws, and 'the root' being its failure to reference Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law.
"When the 1998 investigation is evaluated for compliance with the CPSL, it is quite obvious that the state and county agencies failed on several fronts," Blehar said. With the omission, the Freeh report failed to recommend any type of review of the DPW's and Centre County CYS's investigative procedures, which, Blehar said, could lead to needed improvements in child protection.
"So, here we sit, more than six months after Freeh's press conference, with no more safeguards in place to protect the children of Pennsylvania than we had when Sandusky was evaluated 14 years ago," Blehar said. "Nothing has been done to prevent another predator like Jerry Sandusky from roaming the streets of Pennsylvania."
The report said Centre County Children and Youth Services failed to notify The Second Mile of the 1998 investigation and did not provide a "status determination" to the charity when the investigation ended. These notifications, required by law, may have had a 'profound impact' on the charity's response to the 2001 report of an incident of Sandusky showering with a child on Penn State's campus, Blehar said.
By law, the 1998 investigation should have been conducted by state officials from its very beginnings because of Sandusky's status as an "agent" of the county. As a result, state investigator Jerry Lauro did not personally interview any of the alleged victims and was only able to read transcripts of interviews conducted by the police and Children and Youth Services, "denying him first hand knowledge of the emotional states of the children," Blehar said.
Blehar said the Freeh investigation "provided a golden opportunity to illuminate real and serious issues regarding child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania."
"The fact of the matter is really quite simple: this is not a Penn State problem. It's a Pennsylvania state problem," Blehar said.