Charles Lutz is a retired DEA agent and Penn State University alum. His column is in response to a ticklethewire.com column by Ross Parker’s entitled: A Letter to My Son on Moral Decisions in Light of Penn State.
By Charles Lutz
Channel 13 News
While I don’t disagree with Ross Parker’s advice to his son to always try to do the “right thing,” he has misstated the facts in making his case in his column “A letter to my Son on Moral Decisions in the Light of Penn State.”
For example, he says that once Joe Paterno, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz learned of the alleged allegation by Graduate Assistant Mike McQueary that the three took no further action of any kind, and that Sandusky’s access to the children and the Penn State facilities were not restricted. That’s simply not true.
According to the Grand Jury Presentment, when Paterno learned of the incident from McQueary he reported it to his superiors, one of whom was in charge of the police department, which had jurisdiction for all crimes on campus. And when Curley and Shultz learned of the incident they banned Sandusky from bringing children into the locker room facilities, and reported the allegation to the Executive Director of Sandusky’s former charity, the Second Mile. It would have been fair for Ross to have said that he didn’t think what had been done was enough. But what was done was done was certainly more than nothing.
Further, Ross unfairly, in my opinion, accuses McQueary of doing nothing for nine years after making his report to Paterno, Curley and Schultz. But according to the Grand Jury Presentment, McQueary was informed of the actions taken against Sandusky, and that they had been approved by University President Graham Spanier. When McQueary was asked on the stand (at the preliminary hearing for the perjury charges against Curley and Schultz) why he didn’t go to the police, he said, “I thought I did (referring to Schultz).” I’m not sure what else a Graduate Assistant could have done.
Ross is quick to conclude, on his mistaken premise that Paterno, Curley and Schultz did nothing, that Sandusky was free to molest other children. But he fails to mention that during the more than two-year Grand Jury investigation of this allegation, these same facts, and allegations made by many other children, were well known to the Pennsylvania Attorney General (newly elected Governor), and the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, and that they did nothing to intervene on behalf of the children.
They could have indicted Sandusky on one felony count, exposed him, asked for legal restrictions on his activities with children, and superseded the indictment with the additional counts. But they chose not to do so. While they were quick to point the moral finger at Penn State officials, where were their moral compasses pointed? Perhaps Corbett didn’t want to rock the boat while he was running for Governor(?).
Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is a regular columnist for ticklethewire.com.
By Ross Parker
The fact is that exactly who did what and when in this alleged tragedy are hotly disputed subjects which will presumably be sorted out in court in the months ahead.
Neither of us were witnesses so each of us has relied on someone’s version. However, from what I can determine, the column’s assertion is accurate that Sandusky’s access was not restricted to children or to University facilities—except that about a month after the incident his keys to the locker room were taken away.
Coach Paterno did report to the appropriate officials two days after the incident. McQueary did report, in some fashion, to Coach Paterno and then to the Athletic Director and the Vice President for Finance and Business (who also oversaw the campus police), about ten days later when he was called to a meeting with them. Second Mile officials were told something about the incident, but Sandusky continued to be active in the organizationfor eight years.
If my brief and general rendition of the facts is unduly hard on the two coaches, who at least did do something, however limited, then I appreciate former Special Agent Lutz’s corrections of the record. But on the fundamental moral issue, the point is that, although everyone had to know that Sandusky continued to be actively involved with children, coaching, Second Mile activities, etc., no one acted to intervene beyond those initial discussions.
According to the Grand Jury Presentment, no one notified the University Police, the city or state police, or Child Protective Services. No one tried to protect or even identify the alleged child victim or to determine if there were others in need of counseling or protection.
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