One psychologist's evaluation might have been the reason the now-dead district attorney did not pursue child sex-abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky back in 1998. But the 100-page report prepared by Penn State police at the time also included the appraisal of another psychologist who concluded that Sandusky's behavior "was a classic example of how a sexual abuser grooms his victim," according to what a source told Sara Ganim of the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. And Jerry Lauro, who conducted a separate inquiry of that '98 incident for the state Department of Public Welfare, said PSU cops never shared that information with him. Had they done so, Lauro said, he would have pursued the case further, which could have at least resulted in the addition of Sandusky's name to a child-abuse registry.
Penn State "Detective [Ron] Schreffler never shared any of these with me," Lauro said, referring to reports from psychologist John Seasock and a female psychologist. Seasock concluded that the boy was not sexually abused two days before the case was closed. The report of the female psychologist who evaluated the boy right after the incident found Sandusky was exhibiting signs of grooming a victim for sexual abuse.
"The conclusions she had drawn in her report were pretty damaging," Lauro said. "I would have made a different decision. ... It's unbelievable, and it gets my blood pressure going when I think about it."
Schreffler, when reached by phone, declined comment. "My report speaks for itself," he said before hanging up.
As Ganim points out, Pennsylvania law requires local Children and Youth Services to be notified of child-abuse allegations. CYS often then does its own, separate investigation from police. But because the Centre County (Pa.) CYS has ties to Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, CYS turned its case over to DPW, whose investigation was conducted by Lauro.
More from Ganim:
That doesn't mean Sandusky would have been charged. But it means the finding could have gone into the child abuse registry and The Second Mile might have been notified.
Lauro has said Schreffler also never told him the details of a meeting set up by police between Sandusky and the boy's mother, in which police were listening secretly from another room. Prosecutors say Sandusky admitted to the mother that he touched her son and said, "I wish I were dead."
"I remember my last conversation with [Schreffler] concerning him hiding in that room," Lauro said last year. "He didn't tell me details. All he said was, ‘There's nothing to it - we're going to close our case.' And I said, ‘That's fine, I'm going to close my case, too.' "
As a reader points out, it's worth wondering who might have passed the details of the psychological evaluations on to Ganim, since they contain conflicting information that's favorable to both the prosecution and the defense. Judge John M. Cleland ruled earlier this week the documents are under seal but that Sandusky's attorney, Lawyerin' Joe Amendola, could at least review them. The judge also gave the prosecution until next week to demonstrate that the evaluations are not subject to disclosure.
Patriot-News Special Report: 1998 Jerry Sandusky investigator would have pursued dropped case if he had seen hidden Penn State police report [Patriot-News]
Sandusky Gets Access to Alleged Victims Mental Records [Business Week]
Jerry Sandusky case: Defense to get accusers' numbers, addresses [Los Angeles Times]