Penn State was rocked last week when allegations came out that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing little boys. These allegations cost Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier their jobs. Athletic director Tim Curley and Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz were fired and both men were charged with perjury.
However this is not the real story.
Please let me explain.
A very good friend of mine Harry Chalmers, a graduate of Milton Hershey School turned me on to this story.
I never heard about this story until Harry emailed me last Thursday.
This story was not even reported by the national media.
The school is the Milton Hershey School.
In 2010 Charles Koons was convicted of child molestation. He was sentenced 35-100 years in jail.
Philadelphia Inquirer writer Bob Fernandez wrote this piece on May 10th 2010.
The link to the story is http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/94387849.html
The lead paragraph is this- The Milton Hershey School, the wealthy and nationally acclaimed free boarding school for disadvantaged children, quietly paid $3 million earlier this year to compensate for the sexual abuse suffered by five former students, The Inquirer has learned.
The school confirmed the payments in an interview Wednesday, but it would not disclose the number of recipients or the amount. Those details were provided by two sources, one of them a high-ranking school official.
“We believed what the individuals were alleging. We found it to be true, and we wanted to remediate it,” said Connie McNamara, the Hershey School’s spokeswoman.
Read the entire story by clicking on the above link.
But wait there is more to this Milton Hershey School story.
The Patriot News printed this story by Mathew Kemeny May 17th, 2010.
Four Milton Hershey School students reported being abused to their houseparents in 1989 and at least one of the boys’ mothers reported abuse to Derry Township police in 1998 — years before the abuser was convicted and sentenced to jail, authorities said.
Charles R. Koons II, 40, of Middletown, pleaded guilty in January to sexually assaulting 16 children. He was sentenced in March to 35 to 100 years in prison.
Koons had access to the Milton Hershey students because his mother was a substitute houseparent. Substitute houseparents fill in on campus for regular houseparents when they’re away.
Milton Hershey has no record of any reports made against Koons in 1989, school spokeswoman Connie McNamara said.
Lt. David Holl, a Derry Twp. police spokesman, said he’s not sure why there wasn’t a follow-up on the initial report. A computer crash at the department 10 years ago prevents him from finding out, he said.
Most of the abuse Koons was convicted of happened after 2002. His victims ranged from 4 to 14 years old and the assaults happened in numerous places, including Koons’ car, a campsite, a hotel near a bowling alley and in a recreational vehicle.
Koons photographed some of the boys and lured some with fireworks, drugs, alcohol and pornography.
This was only the tip of the iceberg.
Bob Fernandez Philadelphia Inquire staff writer wrote this story October 30th, 2011.
William Charney Jr. walked into the federal courthouse in Harrisburg 10 days ago and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. The charge: possession of almost 700 images and 40 videos of child pornography.
A vile crime in any circumstance, it is particularly chilling in the case of Charney. The 43-year-old, married and the father of two children, was responsible for the residential life of about 800 teenage students and was living on the campus of the Milton Hershey School for impoverished children. Between 2001 and 2008, Charney and his wife, Mollie, were the house parents for about a dozen boys, living in student homes with them.
Tipped off by America Online, the FBI had cause to move quickly when it first became aware of Charney in late 2009. “Let me know if you ever want to make it happen with one of my boys, they’re always available,” said one e-mail sent to Charney, who used an alias screen name.
Charney is the second child-sex offender uncovered at the Hershey School in recent years and the latest in a string of sexually charged issues to confront the school’s administration and its Board of Managers. It comes as the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is investigating multimillion-dollar expenditures by the school of funds meant to sustain the institution and expand its enrollment.
Before the Charney case, the most publicized of the sexual improprieties was the school’s decision in 2010 to settle the claims of five former students who said they had been sexually abused by Charles Koons 2d, a serial molester who gained access to the campus through his mother, a part-time house parent. Though a mother of a boy warned the school about Koons in the late 1990s, Koons continued to visit the campus.
Read the entire story by clicking on the above link.
This is where the story gets interesting and the tie to the Penn State scandal will become clear.
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is a Hershey Board of Trustees member and is connected with the payments made in the legal settlements.
Bob Fernandez Philadelphia Inquirer staff reported wrote this story August 25th, 2011.
Here is the money quote- Former Gov. Tom Ridge is a member of the candy company board, earning about $200,000 a year in directors’ fees. Former Attorney General LeRoy S. Zimmerman was a director on the candy company’s board before stepping down earlier this year. Zimmerman, one of the state’s most powerful Republicans, remains chairman of the Hershey charity that controls the candy company.
To read the entire story click on the link listed above.
Current Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was the PA Attorney General at the time. He was investigating The Milton Hershey School for out of control spending.
See the link http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10355/1112323-454.stm
Story Bob Fernandez December 10th, 2010.
The issue is the trust’s $12 million purchase in 2006 of a money-losing golf course north of Hershey with funds intended to educate impoverished children and increase enrollment at the acclaimed Milton S. Hershey School. After acquiring the golf course, the charity embellished the Wren Dale course with the construction of a Scottish-style clubhouse and restaurant-bar, at a price of $5 million, again with funds meant for the Hershey School.
Read the entire story by clinking on the above link.
The current PA Attorney General Linda Kelly is in charge of over seeing the Milton Hershey School Trust and Board of Trustees.
These are the same people that are up in arms about what happened at Penn State. Yet when it came to protecting the children and the Milton Hershey School all these kids got was lip service.
Sure the Milton Hershey School is not a football school like Penn State so where is the cry to protect and fire the people that allowed these sexual predators to prey on innocent kids?
How come heads didn’t roll at the Milton Hershey School?
The national media and ESPN have focused on the Penn State scandal because its major source of revenue is football. Penn State is a big power in college football since the early 1960’s.
The Milton Hershey School isn’t.
What has become abundantly clear is that the legal system dropped the ball.
The governor and attorney general both flew to Penn State to make sure they were where in front of the cameras to show the world that they were on top of this problem.
What happened when the Milton Hershey School story broke Governor Tom Ridge and Attorney General Tom Corbett were nowhere to be found.
These bastions of justice and outrage were completely silent.
When now Governor Tom Corbett and now Attorney General Linda Kelly were approached by members of the Milton Hershey School they were told “We will investigate.”
Translation-go pound sand.
There were two convictions in the Milton Hershey School case.
At Penn State all we have are charges.
There has not been a trial or a conviction in Jerry Sandusky case.
Once again neither the media nor the politicians get it. They cry about injustice and protecting the innocent yet when push comes to shove the real victims get the bums rush.