Beyond Complacency and Dissimulation
The revelations in the Jerry Sandusky case have made the headlines recently, involving accusations of the sexual abuse of boys by a former coach of Penn State University and a director of Second Mile, a charity to benefit needy children. The Second Mile program said it cut ties with Sandusky in 2008.
Sandusky faces 40 criminal counts accusing him of sexually abusing eight boys beginning in the mid-1990s. Some of the assaults, say authorities, happened on Penn State's campus and were reported to administrators. Apparently however, the campus officials didn’t inform police agencies. The charges followed a nearly three-year grand jury investigation. Since the news broke, accusations from other victims have been added.
Sandusky has pleaded innocent to the charges, telling interviewers,
“I shouldn’t have showered with those kids...I could say that I have done some of those things...I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”
The grand jury reports are detailed and explicit and painful to read. Victims’ charges have been supported by witnesses. For example, according to unconfirmed claims in the report, when a graduate student accidentally walked in on Sandusky having sex with a boy in the showers at the university, he immediately reported the incident to various authorities, including Joe Paterno, the head football coach. Later he repeated the story to Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director and Gary Schultz, the Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business. They assured him that steps were being taken.
And Schultz told the grand jury that he was aware of an earlier charge of a similar incident with Sandusky back in 1998. Both incidents involved minor boys in the showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner.
Besides that, there were other warning signs that authorities had ignored. The report suggests that Sandusky used his privileged status in the university sports department to impress and seduce his victims. Meanwhile, he also reportedly used his position at the charity to find his targeted children. The mother of Victim 6, upon discovering suspicious activity between her son and Sandusky, reported her complaints to University police. According to the grand jury report:
After a lengthy investigation by University Police Detective Ronald Shreffler, the investigation was closed after then Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decided there would be no criminal charges. Shreffler testified that he was told to close the investigation by the director of the campus police, Thomas Harmon. That investigation included a second child, B.K. also 11, who was subject to nearly identical treatment in the shower as Victim 6, according to Detective Schreffler.It should also be added that the district attorney mentioned above later disappeared in 2005 under very mysterious circumstances.
One sportswriter, Mark Madden, brought out another rumor that had been circulating. The rumor suggested that accused Sandusky was also running some kind of child sex ring for rich donors to his Second Miles Foundation. Certainly the names of donors on the organization’s website are quickly being “cleansed” but that’s hardly unexpected given the circumstances. Without any real evidence, the rumor is fairly easy to dismiss. On the other hand, it would go a long way in explaining how such a sorry state of affairs could have continued for so long.
For me, the most tragic and inexcusable aspect of this shocking story is the fact that so many responsible people had an opportunity and a duty to investigate the matter and bring a halt to the sexual abuse, but did nothing. All of the warning signs were clearly there, reports were made, people were informed. Apparently, however, the immediate- in fact, the only- response was to turn away, to ignore and, later to cover up, what they had known; complacency and dissimulation crossing the border into complicity and a criminal failure to act.
As a society, we seem willing to accept a culture of the sexual exploitation of our children and to tolerant the fact that the guilty are allowed to go unpunished. In these two posts, I would like to examine this theme in detail with separate cases, involving children, sexual abuse and the corruption of justice.
Ghosts of Scandals Past
In the Sandusky case, the grounds for a conspiracy are unavoidable, it seems, but, even if one choose to dismiss that possibility, it is still difficult to explain how so many people could have allowed things to go so far, knowing that the probability that the whole matter would eventually come out.
After all, Graham Spanier's educational background in marriage and family counseling should have afforded him some kind of insight, or, at the very least, allowed him to understand the gravity of the charges.
Roskens had abruptly been fired as president of the University of Nebraska, in a secret meeting of the state Board of Regents in July 1989. No public explanation was given for his removal. However, the rumored reason was, at least according to some reports, that evidence of his involvement in various orgies had been reported (incl. surveillance photos of nude young boys in Rosken's home). Gossip like that could be easily ignored had it not been Omaha.
|Lawrence E. "Larry" King, Jr.|
Shortly thereafter, strange fantastic reports began to circulate concerning pornography, videotapes, and photographs which had been confiscated from the Franklin Credit Union by the FBI. In no time at all, the dam broke, and other allegations began to flood in. These allegations, more detailed and serious, involved drugs, sexual misconduct involving children, pornography- even satanic ritualized activity. Things became surreal when some eighty children came forward with allegations against prominent individuals in the Omaha community. Big-wigs trembled in penthouses and dimly-lit offices. Late night phone calls by nervous-sounding voices. Even top names in the local law enforcement and the local branch of the FBI were mentioned as participants.
Incidentally, another famous name has recently surfaced in regards to this scandal. (Admittedly, the connection is interesting and suggestive but in fact, probably leads nowhere. Other websites have attempted to make some link nevertheless.) That man is the former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain had served as chairman of the Omaha branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and was connected in a peripheral way to Lawrence King. (Nothing directly connected however.) Cain and a group of investors actually had purchased the ailing Godfather's franchise from Pillsbury which had formerly been owned by William “Willy” Theisen. Theisen was a name that came up in the investigation of Franklin Credit. (In fact, Theisen sold the company to Pillsbury in the mid-1980s and stepped down from actively managing the company. In 1986, Pillsbury named Herman Cain CEO and President of the brand.)
In his autobiography, This is Herman Cain!, Cain writes that in September 1988, “we closed on a leveraged buyout and we are now the heavily in debt owners of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc,” with help from CitiBank. Whether there were any financial arrangements made through Franklin Credit Union is never mentioned.
Another person reportedly involved in the scandal was Harold W. Andersen, the owner of the Omaha World-Herald, was also on the Board of Directors for Omaha branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve between 1973-1979. (We shall hear more about this man later.)
Apparently, Ronald Roskens was also implicated in this scandal. According to an investigator in the Franklin Credit Union Sex Scandal, Gary Caradori's daily notes for Feb. 19, 1989:
I was informed that Roskins [sic) was terminated by the state because of sexual activities reported to the Regents and verified by them. Mr. Roskins was reported to have had young men at his residence for sexual encounters. As part of the separation from the state, he had to move out of the state-owned house because of the liability to the state if some of this sexual behavior was "illegal." Upon Roskins vacating the house, he was provided a house by Joe Seacrist [sic) of the Lincoln Journal-Star.
As author Nick Bryant notes, Caradori got incriminating photos from Nelson and flew back with them. Writes Bryant: “The pictures showed who the adults were and who the kids were. I (Nelson) gathered that the purpose was blackmail and it was political. The contents of the pictures, and the events surrounding them, would be an instant end to a politician’s career.” That evidence was allegedly taken away by persons unknown, and never seen again.
Admittedly this charge from Caradori against Roskens is only hearsay and not proof of anything, but, in the Roskens affair, we continually see this pattern repeated- of ignoring the serious charges and pushing the accused down the conveyor belt of his career. But why? Why not allow justice to take its course? The reasons would soon become clear.
On May 19, 1989, Lawrence King was indicted by a Federal grand jury. He was later tried and convicted of fraud and income tax evasion directly related to the Franklin Credit Union matter. Eventually he served his time and was released in 2001. (He reportedly lives the suburbs of the nation’s capital.) No, to answer your question, he never served prison time for the sex abuse charges, or for prostituting children, or for exhortation.
|New York Times Article|
He never faced any of the more horrendous allegations in court. Those charges were summarily dismissed when one of the key witnesses recanted. It was later revealed that that witness had been pressured by threats of long jail time if he proceeded. And that was not an idle threat at all.
When it came to the Franklin Credit Union Scandal, simply telling the truth was a dangerous enterprise. As the witnesses were soon to find out, it was also a punishable offense.
According to sources, Alisha Owen, who had testified in March of 1990 before a grand jury about her own victimization at the age of 14, painfully recounted how she was repeatedly and various occasions raped by the Omaha Chief of Police, Robert Wadman. She also gave testimony about many other King activities, including being transported to parties where she was pimped the wealthy and powerful elite. This included various important politicians, on both a state and national level.
In all, after a few other victim/witnesses were treated similarly, the seventy-six other children recanted their reports of sexual abuse in the Franklin matter. Despite credible witness/victims providing verifiable details about the activities, the grand jury threw out the child sex abuse charges and dismissed the claims as a hoax.
But then, perhaps it shouldn’t really surprise anybody that justice was denied. The extent of the scandal and who may have been involved comes from an unauthorized biography.
Way back in 1985, a young girl, Eulice (Lisa) Washington, was the center of an investigation by Andrea L. Carener, of the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The investigation was instigated because Lisa and her sister Tracey continually ran away from their foster parents, Jarrett and Barbara Webb. Initially reluctant to disclose information for fear of being further punished, the two girls eventually recounted a remarkable story, later backed up by other children who had been fostered out to the Webbs...Lisa, supported by her sister, detailed a massive child sex, homosexual, and pornography industry, run in Nebraska by Larry King. She described how she was regularly taken to Washington by plane, with other youths, to attend parties hosted by King and involving many prominent people, including businessmen and politicians. Lisa specifically named George Bush as being in attendance on at least two separate occasions.
|George H.W. Bush|
When a retired United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In Charge and head of the Los Angeles FBI, Ted Gunderson, interviewed Boncacci, the stories grew even more detailed and horrifying.
According to Bonacci, many of the child victims were kidnapped off the streets. He gave precise details about the operation in interview with the investigator.
Bonacci told me that when he was 10 to 14 years old, he was used as a decoy in malls, parks, etc., to lure other children his age near an automobile so the adult members could grab the victims and force them into the car. Paul and another youth would then jump on the victims and place a chloroform cloth over their mouth and nose. The victims would be taken to a secluded location and later auctioned off for up to $50,000.00 in Las Vegas, Nevada or Toronto, Canada. Bonacci advised me that the auction location in Nevada is approximately 50 miles north of Las Vegas on an air strip and that he saw children auctioned off, then placed in unmarked airplanes operated by foreigners with accents wearing turbans. Other children who were auctioned off were placed in campers after being drugged to ensure that they would be asleep in the event that the camper was stopped by the police.
And the operation apparently had the backing of US goverment agency officials.
Bonacci also told Gunderson that DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) airplanes were used to transport children who had been abducted into these pedophile rings from one place to another. The children were always made available to serve their elite sponsor's twisted appetites.
According to the information gleaned from Bonnaci, the conspiracy went to the top levels of government.
Most important was this revelation by Bonacci to Gunderson, who later reported, "Paul and other children told about youngsters, both male and female, being taken from orphanages, foster-homes, and Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, driven to Sioux City, Iowa (184 miles), and then flown to Washington, D.C. for sex orgy parties with dignitaries, congressmen, and high level public officials at Larry King's Embassy Row condominium. Larry King rented this condominium for $5,000.00 per month while earning a salary of only $17,000 per year." This bears repeating: Foster homes, Boy's Town, and orphanages, were being used to procure a virtually unlimited supply of children for elite controlled, organized, satanic pedophile rings.
|Washington Times article|
On the morning of June 29, 1989, The Washington Times headlined: "Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush." The Times continued: "A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by Federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington's political elite.'' Craig Spence, a high ranking Republican operative, was highlighted as the 'call boy' power broker behind the scenes. Paul Bonacci swore he had been one of the children who had toured the White House on several of those after hour 'call boy' tours. To back up his claim, Bonacci drew a map/sketch that depicted a private area of the White House that was deemed to be accurate by those in the know. Larry King and Craig Spence were working the "White House pedophile circuit" together.
Like so many of these things, the news broke and then seemingly faded away without a whimper, with hardly a twitch in the collective memory of most Americans. It was far easier not to think about the possibility that it was true. Admittedly it was a distasteful subject for most people. It was far easier to dismiss the whole thing without much consideration. Perhaps, despite all the evidence, people simply refused to believe that there were actually people this evil roaming the halls of government. (We have seen a similiar reaction regarding the fake pregnancy allegations against Sarah Palin. A strange unwillingness to look into the issue.)
The Omaha World-Herald, owned by one of the men implicated in the scandal, was particularly aggressive in portraying the entire incident as a hoax.
|Omaha World Herald article|
But not everyone dismissed the allegations nor accepted the orchestrated “smearing” of the victims/witnesses and investigators. Perversely, despite the court’s ruling that the Franklin Credit Union child sex ring was merely a “hoax,” Bonacci was awarded $1 million dollars in a lawsuit against King. (Bonacci has never received a penny of the court ordered one million dollars awarded to him.) The federal court obviously believed Bonacci’s testimony in spite of declaring that there was no truth in the allegations and incarcerating other victims for testifying.And so the case was closed, putting to rest one of the most grievous examples of a miscarriage of justice in US legal history.
As far as Ronald Roskens, the sordid story was only just beginning.
In the second part of this post, we will examine the eventful life of Roskens and his surprising career.