A.J. Castellitto
Beyond JoePa: A closer look at the second mile
By A.J. Castellitto
April 16, 2018

How a children's charitable foundation founded by Jerry Sandusky swiftly became a house of horrors for underprivileged boys is the true story that lies underneath the Penn State scandal that led to the firing of beloved football legend Joe Paterno. The spotlight should have shined much brighter than it has thus far. Was Joe Paterno essentially the sacrificial lamb to keep the emphasis off a much greater scandal? The answers may get lost in the haze of politics and special interests but there are many good men and women that proceed to ask the hard questions. Not surprisingly, the MSM proceeds to be MIA, especially when it matters most.

The Second Mile's Executive Director, Jack Raykovitz, is a particular person of interest. A Psychologist who headed the agency for at-risk youth for 28 years, Raykovitz had knowledge of Sandusky's shenanigans since the very beginning, including two separate incidents in 1998 and 2001 in which he had showered with young boys. In his testimony regarding the 2001 episode, which was originally reported by graduate assistant Mike McQueary, Raykovitz stated that he informed several high-ranking board members of the incident and advised Sandusky to wear swim trunks when showering with children. This shocking admission goes a long way in confirming how negligent those charged with proper oversight of the foundation truly were. In 1998, when Sandusky was accused of similar behavior, a 6 week investigation ensued. Unfortunately, the DA on the case, Ray Gricar, concluded the allegations to be unsubstantiated based on a lack of evidence.

As per Pennsylvania law, if anyone associated with a child care agency is under investigation for child abuse, the agency and the welfare department are to work together to develop a written safety plan until the investigation is complete. Tragically, these steps were never initiated; a reality that defies logic outside the realm of cover and complicity.

Raykovitz, in particular, should have been a primary player in the whole investigation as he was the head person directly responsible for the safety of the children and the integrity of the foundation. Outside Sandusky, any investigation into child abuses against the boys of Second Mile should have began and ended directly with him, his staff, and the few executive board members in the know, as a wall of secrecy hovered over the charity like a dark cloud. But ultimately, all we got was Paterno under a microscope, as is the case throughout the newly released HBO depiction of the scandal starring Al Pacino as the much beleaguered JoePa. https://youtu.be/tdrGCUFMX8A

The Second Mile officially ceased operations after transferring its programs and remaining assets to Arrow Child & Family Ministries. However, many questions still remain...


*This is just the tip of the iceberg, for more info and analysis check out Ray Blehar's SMSS blog


© A.J. Castellitto


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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