Monday, July 10, 2017

Penn State Confidential: U.S. Attorney, FBI Investigated Second Mile Charity And Came Up With A Big "Nothing Burger"

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

For years, Penn State alumni have clamored for a federal investigation of The Second Mile charity founded by convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

It turns out that the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI have already conducted a federal investigation of The Second Mile. It's an investigation that's apparently been closed since at least 2014, with the result that no charges were ever filed.

In response to FOI requests filed by Ryan Bagwell, a former newspaper reporter and unsuccessful candidate for Penn State trustee, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. released some 1,000 pages of documents from the closed files of The Second Mile probe.

What's the bottom line?

"It's a big nothing burger," said John Snedden, a former NCIS and FIS special agent who just got through reviewing the documents. "There was an investigation and there was nothing to pursue, and no charges were filed."

Most of the notes in the released files appear to be FBI interviews conducted in 2012 with Second Mile board members in both the State College office and other regional offices. The interviews described how Second Mile board members reacted to the Sandusky revelations dating back to as early as 2010 and 2011.

"Not a single person admitted to knowing about Sandusky's crimes prior to the presentment," Snedden said. Two people claim to know about "missing donor money," but nothing else is said about that subject in the rest of the released files.

The documents released by the feds are heavily redacted, but there are many references to Second Mile board members circling the wagons. References were made in the documents to false allegations being made by a "disgruntled mother" and a "disgruntled kid."

The documents are more noticeable for what they don't say. Such as in the issue of jurisdiction involving the Sandusky investigation. If, for example, in their investigation of The Second Mile, if the feds any found any evidence of a federal crime, such as Sandusky crossing state lines with sex abuse victims, "They would have taken it [the investigation] away from the state for prosecution," Snedden said.

"But they [the feds] didn't do any of that," Snedden said after reviewing the documents. "There's no indication they did that."

Instead, the attorney general pursued the Sandusky investigation, and the feds pursued The Second File.

"Sadly, neither focused on political vindictiveness and corruption, which is exactly what happened here," Snedden said.

Snedden has his own experience with a previous secret federal investigation into the Penn State scandal. In 2012, working as a special agent for the Federal Investigative Services, Snedden did a background investigation of former Penn State President Graham Spanier, to see if Spanier's high level security clearance should be renewed by the government.

As part of that investigation, Snedden investigated whether Spanier had orchestrated a coverup of Sandusky's crimes. Snedden's investigation concluded that there was no cover up at Penn State, because there was no sex crime to cover up. As far as Snedden was concerned, Mike McQueary, the guy who witnessed a naked Sandusky allegedly abusing a boy in the Penn State showers, was not a credible witness.

Spanier's clearance was renewed as the result of an 110-page report that Snedden wrote back in 2012, a report that was declassified earlier this year.

In the investigation of The Second Mile, the released files include copies of FBI interviews with eight witnesses whose identities are redacted. The interviews are recorded on FBI "302s," the number of the form that interview summaries were typed on by FBI agents.

"I see a lot of interviews with a lot of different people, a wide range of positions in the Second Mile hierarchy," Snedden said. "And I don't see any people admitting to knowing anything concrete about Sandusky."

In the interviews, there are quotes from woman who "had always heard positive things about the organization. She had never heard anything bad about TSM founder Jerry Sandusky."

Another woman interviewed by the FBI described Sandusky's "nondescript entrance and presence" at a March 25, 2011 "Celebration of Excellence" event in Hershey.

"Sandusky was not acknowledged during the event formally by TSM," the woman told the FBI.

"On March 31, 2011, the Patriot News published an article about the grand jury investigation" of Sandusky," the woman told the FBI. "The article was everywhere and everyone was talking about it."

"She didn't recall seeing any evidence of financial improprieties or anything otherwise questionable," the FBI 302 stated. "She did not personally observe any misuse of donations."

"The general mood of the room was that of denial," the woman told the FBI. "Everyone appeared to be in support of Sandusky and TSM."

In another 302, an unidentified witness said, "He did not observe any inappropriate behavior." On the same form, someone, possibly Sandusky himself stated  the complainant "was a disgruntled kid, not associated with TSM. He was not aware at the time that the allegation was sexual in nature"

Another 302 notes that one board member was "shocked after reading the indictment." In addition, "four or five board members in particular were upset that they were never notified. The exchange was heated."

In the 302s, there was discussion of an earlier 1998 allegation that Sandusky had abused another youth in the shower, but "the allegations were considered 'unfounded.'"

There is also discussion in the 302s about an alleged allegation involving the Clinton County Children and Youth Services[CYS].

"CYS did have a safety plan in the event a child was a victim of sexual abuse," the 302 stated. "They did not need to enact their safety plan for SANDUSKY's case because the allegation was not founded and all actions taken by CYS were 'by the book.' "

Bagwell said he has filed multiple FOI requests as part of his Penn State Sunshine Fund. Bagwell, a former newspaper reporter who is now a web developer, said he filed his requests because he was seeking primary source documents from the Sandusky investigation.

"What frustrated me about everything since the very beginning was a complete and utter lack of transparency," Bagwell said.

In his court battle with the U.S. Attorney's office, Bagwell said, the feds indicated that there were some 300,000 pages of documents related to The Second Mile investigation. The feds only released 1,000 pages and "withheld tends of thousands more for reasons not apparent at this time," Bagwell said.

Bagwell, himself a former journalist, said the press coverage of the scandal has been "abysmal, reactionary and sensationalistic," as well as "factually incorrect." Bagwell said he hopes the newly released documents will have a calming effect on Penn State Nation.

"Penn Staters are still screaming for an investigation for years of The Second Mile," Bagwell said. "Well, it turns out there was an investigation."

"My overall view is that everything here [in the documents] seems to support the idea that The Second Mile didn't knowingly do anything wrong," Bagwell said. "The Penn Staters who are clamoring for heads at The Second Mile to roll, I don't think that's an outcome that's appropriate at this point in time."

20 comments:

  1. I have always been disturbed about the total lack of physical evidence in this case. I also expressed my dismay about the vitriol aimed at Bruce Heim, when it was totally obvious that nobody had a clue that JS had done anything inappropriate. When Raycovitz was informed by Curley of possible lewd behavior by JS, he should have gotten to the bottom of the issue and reported back to PSU in writing. That he did not do that is derelict.

    The sad part of it is that nobody attacked the lies and the liars. They let hoaxes go unchallenged and used a cowardly politically correct strategy. They hunkered down and then sounded retreat.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting, so this John Snedden, a government agent, says "nothing to see here" at Second Mile and at Penn State---no abuse of children occurred at either organization. So why were Sandusky's alleged child victims payed-off with Penn State money? If this is all made-up as Snedden says, then the individuals that commandeered Penn State's money to pay-out unvetted claims of sexual abuse of children committed fraud. And if no one was abused, then Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz are innocent men that have been railroaded by corrupt officials, Josh Shapiro, Laura Ditka, Frank Noonan, Linda Kelly, Tom Corbett and Judge Boccabella.

    So shouldn't John Snedden be jailing these aforementioned individuals for creating a fake sex scandal and jailing innocent people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PSU BOT had an incentive to settle as fast as possible with the accusers. Not only were they looking to get the MSM off their backs and show them that "they get it" but the PSU BOT fired Joe Paterno in November 2011 and they were seeking to justify that poor decision. Also, let's not forget that they paid Louis Freeh $8 million to come up with a conclusion that let them off the hook.

      It's not like they were spending their own money for settlements. They were liberals spending other people's money, they were only doing what came natural to them.

      Delete
  3. You're getting a little carried away. Snedden is retired and has no official function here. It's the federal documents that are saying the US Attorney and FBI found nothing worth pursuing at the Second Mile.

    Whether those "victims" were legit and deserved to collect that money is still an open question. As I have stated previously, the child endangerment law that put Spanier, Curley & Schultz in jail did not apply to them. The guy who twisted the child endangerment law, Rufus Seth Williams, is currently in solitary confinement in federal prison.

    Certainly, the conduct of the officials you cite should be questioned. You're attacking the wrong people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I forgot Snedden is retired, my mistake. But it's been years since he saw there was no sex scandal at PSU----a political hit job is what he called it. So these political hit jobs that ruin good men and forever tarnish a university's reputation are not serious and can be put aside by law enforcement?

      It also appears that millions were stolen from PSU to pay fake victims. So this simply can't be legal if Snedden is saying nothing happened to children at all at PSU. And if a court awarded these "victims" millions, then the court is officially saying these victims are legitimate, and it's not an open question. So the judge that did the awarding is either part of the theft of PSU money or he is protecting those that stole it.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking John Snedden, he seems like a good man that's telling the truth. I'm just very confused at this point.

      Delete
    2. And AG Shapiro failed to live up to his reputation for seeking the truth by prosecuting and getting the three administrators 3 month prison terms in order to sate the egos of prosecutors aided by willing judges .

      Delete
    3. Truthseeker,

      Most, if not all, of the "victims" were offered settlements and never went to court.

      Delete
    4. James,
      I never thought Josh Shapiro ever had a reputation for seeking the truth at all. I think most people now realize he's a corrupt little boy that blows a lot of hot air. He protects and serves his corrupt masters. And Governor Wolf is no different. Have you noticed when the the corrupt Harrisburg mafia-government gets in a pickle, as it did with Corbett, they bring in the antithesis of that original crook leader? Our anti-citizen government needed a couple of good frontmen that appear to be civilized unlike Corbett. So they bring in the bespectacled democrat nerd-types to try and smooth it all over. Yep, Wolf and Shapiro will just keep pushing the dirt right under the rug. Don't let their appearance fool you.

      Delete
    5. Brian H.,

      Curious, isn't it? Settlements are usually a severe compromise compared to what a court would award if the victims were found to be truly victims. But in PA, Tom Corbett can call on a bunch of crooked lawyers to organize fraudulent multi-million-dollar, lottery payday "settlements" for fake victims without even going into a court to prove the abuse allegations. Clearly, this is theft by deception. Governor Wolf and Josh Shapiro are still trying to continue on with this deception. They are now both, part of it.

      Delete
  4. Well it makes total sense that the only one who should have known was Joe Paterno. Clearly he was more trained to spot this stuff than anyone at TSM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. smokey,

      Hopefully, you're saying this with tongue in cheek. And as you probably are, it may help some people realize just how absurd it has been for the lawless Attorney General's office in PA to try and blame Joe Paterno for non existent child abuse. It was a ridiculous stretch to pin it on Paterno when mobster Tom Corbett's lapdog media was spinning a tale of "decades of rape" at Penn State. But now, with Snedden's revelation of the 'nothing burger', and the 'political hit job', it's purely delusional to believe Paterno did anything wrong at all.

      Delete
  5. Read carefully. They found nothing wrong with "sex crimes" or taking children across state lines. It says nothing about laundering money, other criminal activity, record shredding. Where are the bank and financial records? Why did Penn State have "victims" sign a disclaimer they wouldn't sue TSM?

    A lot still stinks here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another excellent article Ralph! Finally a journalist who is getting to the bottom of what happened in the Penn State fiasco. This article leads to an obvious questions -- Who is in position to launch an investigation that focuses on the political vindictiveness and corruption that have been so rampant in this story and when might that happen? When will Tom Corbett have to answer for the lives that he has tried to destroy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a government that devotes more of its time, energy and resources into finding fault than proving innocence. Non-government agencies like the Innocence Project and some government programs like conviction review units can possibly help but after irreparable damage has been done .

      We need a "Defense" department that is equal in all ways to the might of the prosecution of the "Justice" department. It shows a lack of concern and commitment to its own citizens, the feds are showing us who matters more.

      First recognizing the fact the media in our country is aligned with the prosecution and its involvement hampers justice, making it almost impossible for innocents to be believed or to be found innocent of real or imagined crimes.

      No defendant is ever believable when representatives of your own government deem you guilty, there will always be doubt cast by the long arm of the law .

      When prosecutors and the media are held accountable for incriminating the innocently accused then and only then will this madness be remedied.

      Prosecutors and reporters that inflict so much damage on innocents and their families should share the same jail cell being given the same sentence as was recommended for the defendant.

      Delete
    2. What you have in PA is absolute entanglement. The corrupt politicians, prosecutors, and judges have each other's backs. They can lie and scheme all they want with impunity. The media has given them a license to lie, and will distort and bias their reporting as directed. The corruption goes from the Governor down to a local township manager. You would think that given all of the damage done to innocent Pennsylvanians, and the enormous economic damage to the State, that the Governor would appoint a special prosecutor/investigator to do a proper investigation. But when the Governor is part of the corruption network or is beholding to those that are, ruined lives are just the fortunes of war.

      Delete
  7. How does any investigation of Second Mile not discuss Jack Raykoviz?

    ReplyDelete
  8. There should be a law in journalism that once the media is alerted to a discrepancy in their "facts" they should have a required duty to present the facts of either the innocently accused or a journalist with accurate facts from the defendant or the defendant's lawyer, the facts then would then be distributed to media outlets with the same vigor in which the defendant was falsely accused.

    Continually promoting inaccurate facts should be a crime,we know it is a dereliction of duty.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Feds were investigating Sandusky and The Second Mile.

    Sandusky's PCRA included interview notes from the US Postal Inspection Service -- a federal agency. Also, it was widely publicized in November 2011 that the FBI were investigating and that the US Attorney's office served a subpoena on PSU in February 2012 for documents pertaining to its financial dealings with TSM.

    Bagwell's documents clearly show that the Freeh Group was also working with the Feds -- and that the Feds obtained over 30 boxes of (irrelevant) evidence from the PSU football offices.

    However, the evidence obtained by Bagwell shows that the Middle District was conducting a criminal sex abuse investigation, which would not result in any Federal charges unless there was evidence that Sandusky transported victims over state lines.

    What the evidence so far shows is that the Middle District was NOT conducting a corruption/RICO investigation or seriously looking into financial crimes.

    As Mr. Snedden related earlier, this investigation needs to be conducted by someone outside of Pennsylvania.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So let me get this straight.

    The FBI using the 302 reporting method, finds no evidence of concealment, conspiracy, cover up or knowledge of Sandusky’s crimes by the most 4 powerful people at Second Mile. Yet Louis Freeh uses the same 302 reporting method and finds a conspiracy and cover up by the 4 most powerful people at Penn State.

    It strains credulity that Louis Freeh so freely maligned Joe, Tim, Gary and Graham without subpoena power to compel truthful testimony -- but used the lack of subpoena power as an excuse not to review the actions of The Second Mile, nor did he ever “continually interface” with his peers at the FBI and US Attorney’s office.

    But I digress.

    Assuming the FBI interviewed Second Mile CEO Dr. Jack Raykovitz and his wife Katherine Genovese properly, they would have been told of their knowledge of the 2001 “McQueary incident”, the fact that it involved a Second Mile teen, that Raykovitz failed to identify the teen, nor did he ever speak with the teen or his parent(s). They would also have indentified that this charity duo failed to investigate the rampant Out Of Program Contact with Second Mile minors by Jerry, and allowed it to continue even after complaints were escalated to their offices.

    Lynne Abraham was initially tapped to investigate Second Mile because it was “all so horribly familiar – the gifts – the grooming – surely those at Second Mile leadership knew” – why didn’t she insist on working in tandem with the US Attorney’s office, the State Attorney General and Louis “continuously interfacing” Freeh? As a former hard charging Philadelphia DA for whom child sex crimes were in her wheelhouse – surely Ms. Abraham would have wanted to follow the facts, wherever they lead her, in a nationally reported case – working cooperatively with these law enforcement offices and a former director of the FBI to get to the bottom of this.

    Together, this team could have presented an accurate analysis of the breakdown in the reporting among Second Mile leadership, identifying the rampant grooming and complicit out of program contact with charity minors by the chairman, and the failure of Second Mile leadership to implement a written safety plan both in 1998 and in 2001. They could have also highlighted the glaring inadequacies in our state Child Protection Services, the caseworkers and officials that placed kids with Sandusky – most notably Matt Sandusky’s placement - which would have served our commonwealth better.

    Instead, the US Attorney quietly packs up – never informing our state Attorney General’s Office of their findings, left the questioning public in the lurch, allowed Louis Freeh and the media to wreak damage across the Centre County community and beyond. The catalyst of this firestorm was an ever evolving story from Mike McQueary, who is now nationally identified as a serial sexual harasser of women using his penis and a smartphone. A firestorm which has left Sue Paterno holding the shit end of the stick, at an indescribable cost. In addition, knee jerk legislation in response to the media stampede fueled by the Harrisburg Patriot-News with their eye on a crummy LOCAL Pulitzer, overwhelmed our state ChildLine system and placed even more kids at risk.

    So if I understand this all correctly, anyone who points out the corruption in the AG’s office in bringing the PSU3 case to trial, Freeh’s false narrative, the NCAA’s malfeasance, Second Mile negligence, local and state agencies that failed and the inanity of this all, is just a Football Crazed Child Rape Enabling JoeBot Paterno Truther.

    Mkaay.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Note that the TWO individuals talking about missing donor money are PENN STATE employees. Donor money missing from PSU?

    ReplyDelete

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