Sunday, June 4, 2017

Penn State Sentences: Shakespearian Tragedy Or Comedy Of Errors?

The Man Who Made Penn State's Showers Safe Again
By Ralph Cipriano

Judge John Boccabella said he was witnessing a Shakespearian tragedy on Friday when he sentenced Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz to jail for misdemeanors.

But actually it was a farce. "The Comedy of Errors" -- [Shakespeare wrote that one too] -- that Boccabella had a starring role in.

For starters, the prosecutors in the case wrote an insane sentencing memorandum where they proposed abandoning the law, as well as logic and common decency, in favor of mob rule.

What the prosecutors wanted to do was to hold former Penn State President Graham Spanier and one of their own cooperating witnesses -- former athletic director Tim Curley -- personally responsible for the actions of bloggers, and the politically incorrect statements of some of Spanier's defenders.

As crazy as that notion was, Judge Boccabella promptly ratified it by sending all three former Penn State administrators off to jail on for a misdemeanor crime that they weren't guilty of, child endangerment, a state law that didn't even apply to them.

All because of the blasphemies of others.

According to the PennLive report on Friday's sentencing, the judge said that despite the fact that the three Penn State administrators had lost their jobs and reputations over this fiasco, a message of deterrence was still needed.

Because some at Penn State, including members of the board of trustees, were still making excuses about what supposedly happened at Penn State, the judge said. And some of those people actually had the nerve to question the truthfulness and motives of Jerry Sandusky's alleged victims.

Oh no, not the sainted victims of child abuse!

We're talking about the Happy Valley version of the SEPTA bus crash, where 33 alleged victims got in line to collect $93 million that the university was handing out, no questions asked. The actions of the Penn state trustees were so irresponsible that their own insurance carrier wound up suing them in court.

Doing the math, those payouts amount to $2.8 million each. And, according to the rules of the game, as practiced in Happy Valley, none of the victims had to even reveal their real names. But according to the Honorable Judge Boccabella, it's beyond skepticism to suggest that a few fakers might have gotten in line for that kind of lottery.

In case you're unfamiliar with the legend of the SEPTA bus crash, it's a Philadelphia specialty where a bus crashes with 3 passengers aboard. And after all the lawyers in the case get through, 20 people file claims for damages.

But in Happy Valley, it was even easier to collect than in a SEPTA bush crash.

In the Penn State lottery, the university put aside a $60 million pot of gold, and let the plaintiffs's lawyers decide who got what. It didn't matter that the gold rush exceeded the trustees'  budget by $33 million.

No problem, we'll just pay all those bills, no questions asked, the trustees said. After all, it's only fair. Why prolong the suffering of the alleged "victims" by asking any questions. Like is it true you actually claimed that Joe Paterno got in the shower with you and Jerry? And then you got paid?

Anybody have a questions about such a process that's played out behind closed doors and under court seal? Where the alleged victims who grab those FAT CHECKS don't even have to state their real names?

No possibility of fraud there, right? After all, people don't lie when it comes to sex abuse. And certainly their lawyers can be trusted.

All the way to the bank.

Never mind that in Philadelphia, in a travesty that coincided exactly with the Penn State scandal, a fraudster dubbed "Billy Doe" -- whose real name is Danny Gallagher -- collected $5 million for his alleged pain and suffering in an out-of-court settlement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Even though Billy Doe/Danny Gallagher has since been revealed as a complete fraud who just stole that money, as well as sent four men to jail for an imaginary rape spree.

And if you don't believe me, just ask the retired detective who was the district attorney's lead investigator.

If there was any justice in Happy Valley, it would be Penn State's trustees who would be on trial for abandoning their fiduciary duties. But instead, Judge Boccabella was conducting an inquisition to determine whether Spanier, Curley and Schultz should pay for the blasphemies spoken by others.

Because in Happy Valley, under the rules of the Penn State scandal, it's blasphemy to question the truthfulness and the motives of Jerry's alleged victims.

As long as such an atmosphere of denial exists in Happy Valley, the judge declared, "a similar incident could occur at any time"

That's right, Judge. At any moment, Mike McQueary could walk back into the showers at Penn State, and witness another former Penn State football coach cavorting naked with another boy. And then, Mike could do nothing about it for ten years.

Just like he did the first time.

Nice logic. But this is the same judge who introduced a 28-year-old witness to the jury as "John Doe." So everybody could pretend that instead of a grown man with a net worth of $8 million, Michal Kajak was a frightened little boy who needed his Mommy and a box of Kleenex to get through a brutal inquisition where the defense lawyers in the case were too frightened to ask a question.

Oh, please stop the torture! And get that sobbing witness another tissue.

Also adding to the insanity, as several longtime PSU scandal mongers have pointed out, Michal Kajak was the only alleged victim in the Sandusky case that the jury didn't believe, when they acquitted Jerry of indecent assault for his alleged shower incident with Kajak.

Wow, that's really crazy. But it worked.

After he got through ratifying the notion of mob rule, the Honorable Judge Boccabella promptly sentenced former Penn State President Graham Spanier to 4 to 12 months in jail, with two months of that sentence to be spent under house arrest.

Former Athletic Director Tim Curley got 7 to 23 months; former Penn State VP Gary Schultz got 6 to 23 months. But half of Schultz and Curley's sentences will also be spent under house arrest.

Let's keep in mind that these three men had clean records and were being sentenced for a misdemeanor, where a fine and/or probation would have been appropriate.

In any other case where the media wasn't all over it, and the prosecutors weren't screaming for blood.

But actually, these guys should have never even gone on trial. But they did, thanks to one other corrupt legacy from Philadelphia -- bad case law made in the Billy Doe scandal.

I've written about this before, but I don't think people get it. So, let's try again.

Before the Billy Doe case came along, between 1972 and 2007, under the state's original 1972 child endangerment law, the only 300 or so people in Pennsylvania who were charged with endangering the welfare of a child were people who had direct contact with children, such as parents, teachers and guardians.

In 2005, a grand jury investigating sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia wanted to charge Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and Msgr. William J. Lynn with endangering the welfare of a child.

The same stunt the AG's office pulled with Curley, Scultz and Spanier. Only in Philadelphia, it was over real crimes.

But a grand jury and Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham wrote that the state's 1972 child endangerment law applied only to people who had direct contact with children, such as parents, teachers and guardians.

So that's why the grand jury and D.A. Abraham couldn't charge the cardinal or the monsignor with endangering the welfare of a child. Even though, according to the grand jury report, the cardinal and monsignor had been involved in a cover up that had successfully shielded from prosecution some 60 pedophile priests who had raped hundreds of innocent child victims.

Abraham promptly led a statewide drive to amend the law. And the state Legislature complied by passing an amendment in 2007 that added supervisors to the law.

So, under the rules of the game in Pennsylvania, Spanier, Curley and Schultz could have never even been charged with child endangerment, until some bad case law got made.

Those blood-thirsty prosecutors in the state's Attorney-General's office would have never been able to write their insane sentencing memoranda. And the Honorable John Boccabella wouldn't have had to preside over a Shakespearian tragedy that he was the star of.

So what happened?

In 2009, along came an unscrupulous new District Attorney in Philadelphia, Rufus Seth Williams, who, like those blood-thirsty prosecutors in the AG's office, didn't have any interest in the rule of law, especially when it came to furthering his own political ambitions.

Instead, Williams went out in 2011 and indicted Msgr. Lynn under the state's original 1972 child endangerment law, with no explanation at all for the complete reversal.

When he did it, Rufus Seth Williams pretended that there had been no 2005 grand jury report from D.A.Abraham, and no 2007 amendment of the state law. Instead, Rufus Seth Williams decided to make his own law.

Keep in mind this is the same unscrupulous district attorney currently facing a 29-count federal indictment charging bribery, extortion, honest services fraud and wire fraud.

But maybe his worse crime was what he did to the law.

Msgr. Lynn, of course was convicted at a 2013 trial, on one felony count of child endangerment, and he got sentenced to 3 to 6 years.

Later that same year, the state Superior Court declared that the sky was blue. The court found that the state's original child endangerment law didn't apply to Msgr. Lynn, because he was a supervisor of people who had direct contact with children.  Not somebody who himself had direct contact with children, such as parents teachers and guardians.

D.A. Williams promptly appealed.

That's when, in 2015, the state Supreme Court came along and did some political grandstanding. And in the process, they made some bad case law. The Supremes overturned the overturning of Msgr. Lynn's conviction by saying the sky was purple.

They did it by clairvoyantly reinterpreting the meaning of the original 1972 state child endangerment law to declare that the law originally meant to include supervisors.

In making bad case law, the Supremes ignored the actions of the 2005 grand jury in Philadelphia. And the actions of the state legislature in 2007 when it amended the child endangerment law to include supervisors.

But that's of little comfort to Spanier, Curley and Schultz as they head off to jail.

But at least the citizens of Dauphin County, and the gullible media, can applaud the actions of the Honorable John Boccabella.

That courageous judge, who with his tough jail sentences, assured that the showers at the Lasch Building will be safe again, and forever free of pedophiles.


  1. Good article, Ralph. I would add Corbett to the list of really bad guys if only because he allowed Sandusky two more years to roam free while collecting evidence. Nonsense. He didn't need foolproof evidence to put a bug in Sandusky's ear telling him he was being investigated.

  2. So you don't need to know the law in Pa. to be a prosecutor or a judge. You don't really even need a degree I would imagine.
    Because it is clear you only need an imagination to be a prosecutor or a judge in this case. I think therefore I am!!! Law unlimited!!! All cases argued to the full extent of anything I can think or just imagine.

  3. It's not a good article. It's crap. Any moron insulting Coach McQueary proves they're a complete fool.

    1. Yep, Coach McQueary is a paragon of virtue.

    2. Too funny! Last I heard and saw, Mike McQueary likes to send unsolicited pictures of his boner to unsuspecting victims! Basically, he's the guy in a trench coat flashing young girls at the bus stop. He's the one that should be in jail for receiving a multi-million dollar bribe in the form of "damages" from Tom Corbett's personally commandeered slush fund of University money.

    3. Yes, he is a real "stand up" guy,as is evident by his photos. lol

    4. Good one! Yes, but perhaps Mike McQueary's photos of himself are a Freudian indication of what he really is----a real dick!

      Oh his mother must be so proud of him! lol

    5. Where, oh where, did MM learn to associate slapping sounds with sex? A slap-happy S&M club in State College, or maybe his wife or concubine slapped him silly when he couldn't perform.

  4. In response to the McQueary defender, it seems to me that it might be time to add witnesses and even victims to the mandatory reporting list.

    While I understand the concerns one might have the victims, society also has an interest here. Society's interests are not well served when crimes go unreported and then supposedly happen over and over again.

    In any case where there are supposedly multiple victims, every failure to report leads to another victim.

    We are horse trading - we say it is better to allow a molester to victimize 20 more people than to put a victim through the stress of reporting a crime contemporaneously.

    If victims had the same obligation, there'd be no Lynn, no Cosby, no Sandusky, and no Holtzclaw - whether these guys were guilty or not. The first crime would be the last.

    1. PA revised their mandatory reporting law after the Sandusky scandal to include all university employees so if a graduate assistant, like Mike McQueary in 2001, would now be included in that child abuse reporting law.

      Even if that new law was in force in 2001, McQueary would not have been charged because he was the key prosecution witness against Curley, Schultz and Spanier. He would have gotten immunity as he, his father and his father's boss essentially did.

  5. I remember a program for parents of school aged children that taught us to comment when an inappropriate program, movie or the lyrics of a song went against our morals, we were instructed to comment, speaking words such as “that is not the right thing to do or say”. We were instructed to show our disapproval so our children would know that we did not agree with what we just witnessed or heard. Without commenting our children would think the offensive actions were acceptable, we were told if we do not raise our children society will.
    I can say that we as adults have lost our sense of reasoning or our ability to decide for ourselves if a situation is wrong or right when spoken by the media or the prosecution, we are not encourage to think for ourselves. Once the media/prosecution has spoken we are all expected to conform to their ideas.
    Even if a jury does not agree with the prosecution we are told that the jury got it wrong, how disappointed the prosecution was and that they still believe they were right. No conversation needed, the great OZ has spoken and our opinions do not count, only the prosecutors or the media could have the correct solution to the problem.
    The media/ prosecution is more than willing to think for us, how the public could have an opinion that would matter is ridiculous to them. We have adopted an adversarial position against everyone the media/ prosecution deems unworthy. Denying dignity to hose that have been singled out by the prosecution is what the media does so well.
    We are taught how to think and behave and respond to a situation by people that have a vested interest in the outcome. It’s an us against them set of rules they seem to be following, we have no mainstream media outlet that is listening to both sides, only a media that takes only the prosecutions side.
    Denying the public a voice is dangerous as there is no way back when the media realizes they were misinformed by the prosecution and have to hold onto a lie to save face or to avoid a lawsuit.

  6. Judges are bobbleheads, agreeing with the prosecution and a public that has been swayed by prosecution driven articles.

  7. Truly a shame when a writer ridicules and ignores the lifelong mental anguish of even ONE victim of the Monster Who Roamed Happy Valley. Shame on you RC and i ask....would you feel same way if the 3 Top Dogs of PSU reactrd same way towards your child? Sleep well my friend!

  8. Dear Anon: I would recommend you post your comments on or catholics4change, where people might sob along with you.

    What if the "monster" was jut a goober who did stupid things?

    Or, if he really is a pedophile, where are the victims, where's the porn? Why did they have to manufacture evidence, reprogram victims, and lie in that grand jury report?

    Does that upset you oh anguished one? Or do the ends justify the means?

    And when you read the stories of the "victims" -- and you will read them here -- you may have to rethink the wisdom of the $93 million giveaway that Penn State sponsored, handing out cash to Jerry's so-called "victims" no questions asked, no matter how ridiculous the stories were.

    You might even feel ripped off. In between sobbing for the children of course.

    1. Since JS retired in 1999, nobody at PSU had supervisory authority over him, thus not even the 2007 law would apply to them. Actually, what legal responsibility did they have except to insure that JS didn't bring kids into the weight room? Whatever they did in 2001 worked...JS was never seen on campus with a child after that, and he seemed to be dormant for 4 years, when he popped up at Central Mountain High as a volunteer football coach. Victims 5, 9, and 10 are lying as can be proved by anyone looking at the facts. (Luch with JS and Paterno at Beaver Stadium?? My cat barfed up a hair ball on that one!)

    2. The child endangerment law is so vague that I don't know how a jury could convict Spanier. Here's the law:

      "A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age, or a person that employs or supervises such a person, commits an offense if he knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support."

      Perhaps the jury misinterpreted the law and concluded that Spanier was guilty because his subordinates, Curley and Schultz, pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

      I think they just felt that the top dog, Spanier, shouldn't get off scot-free and let his underlings take the fall.

    3. Tim,
      What ever happened to the jury foreman's "we made a mistake"? Doesn't this admission legally equate to a mistrial? And if so, then Josh Shapiro's grandstanding about jail time for the 3 innocent men could be either illegal, or at the very least, dishonest.

      I suppose it's time for Josh Shapiro to make another trip to The White House to visit his co-star and the star of the new Zio-reality drama, "The End of Democracy in America".


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