A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VIII

The following is the result of a more than 18-month long investigation by Fox Sports Williamsport into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case since they have not been formally charged with a crime.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART VIII

By Todd Bartley, Fox Sports Williamsport

Todd@Foxsportswilliamsport.com

570-327-1300

In light of recent reports from other media outlets attempting to provide an alternate narrative to the facts presented in the Fox Sports Williamsport series, this author has just returned from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Fox Sports Williamsport confirmed on the recent trip, the Myrtle Beach Police Department has obtained VIDEO #1 which is referenced in PART I, showing ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 placing his male anatomy on the face of JOHN DOE #1 while the victim slept and not his bare buttocks as Willie Weber continues to assert and John Beauge continues to parrot in recent PennLive articles.

Fox Sports Williamsport also confirmed with the Myrtle Beach Police Department the fact Detective Weber never provided any videos to them.

A number of law enforcement sources also reached out to FSW after the publication of the PennLive article which Weber referred to an incident on video. Those sources in their opinion believe the incident meets the standard for any number of criminal charges to be filed in the case.

Myrtle Beach Police Department officials refused to comment in light of new evidence if an investigation is ongoing in this matter.

(Photo Courtesy: Todd Bartley) 

 

MYRTLE BEACH CASE MIRRORS STEUBENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RAPE CASE

Alexandria Goddard who is a Social Media Analyst & Consultant, Author, activist and truth-teller who came to prominence in recent years in exposing the culture of corruption surrounding the Steubenville, Ohio Big Red football program.

Her investigative work is featured in the feature length documentary “Roll Red Roll” now streaming on Netflix.

Goddard having read the 7-part series to date offered the following, “I am shocked at how many similarities there are between the Steubenville case and the incident(s) at Williamsport. What I find most disturbing is how some adults are minimizing sexual assault. I’ve seen very similar comments coming from the Williamsport community that I saw coming from Steubenville, such as what defines rape or stating that certain other behaviors aren’t rape. I’ve even seen #metoo invoked and then a diatribe about how people shouldn’t be talking about the sexual assault. There is definitely a gap in awareness of what rape culture is and the behaviors that enable it. I’m hoping that the community continues to discuss and question what happened, as well as demand answers. More importantly, I hope they will have conversations about consent. “

 

PENNLIVE ARTICLE OFFERS ALTERNATE MYRTLE BEACH VIDEO STORY

According to Willie Weber who is a detective with the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office and formerly the Chief Detective offered details in a PennLive article published on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

FSW reached out to the office of the Lycoming County District Attorney for comment on whether Weber was authorized to make public comments on the case.

Those calls over the past few weeks remain unanswered at the time of publication of this article.

From the PennLive article, Lycoming County Detective William Weber, who was involved in investigating the incident, said it involved a player who bared his buttocks and sat on the face of a fellow player who was asleep.

Coaches are required by law to report child abuse, but the district says neither they nor any administrator or employee was aware of the incident until a ChildLine complaint was received by the Lycoming County district attorney’s office.

Once notified, the district launched an investigation that included viewing a cell phone video of the incident and interviewing the victim and his family, the detective said.

Later in the article, Results of the local investigation were forwarded to Myrtle Beach police, who chose not to file charges, Weber said.

A social media report that state police have opened an investigation into the incident is untrue, he said.

Within the article PennLive interestingly added links to these stories related to the recent hazing lawsuit filed by a former Penn State football player.

READ MORE: Penn State didn’t report football player’s hazing allegations, but should it have under state law?

READ MORE: Who’s involved in, what we know about the lawsuit that makes hazing accusations against Penn State football

Fox Sports Williamsport reached out to the family of JOHN DOE #1 for reaction to the PennLive story.

When asked if the assertion made of the incident is true as noted by Lycoming County Detective William Weber, who was involved in investigating the incident, said it involved a player who bared his buttocks and sat on the face of a fellow player who was asleep; the family of JOHN DOE #1 responded “he did that too. That is not the video that has been widely sent out though.”

From the PennLive article, Coaches are required by law to report child abuse, but the district says neither they nor any administrator or employee was aware of the incident until a ChildLine complaint was received by the Lycoming County district attorney’s office.

Once notified, the district launched an investigation that included viewing a cell phone video of the incident and interviewing the victim and his family, the detective said.

Officials with the Myrtle Beach Police Department confirmed Weber had alluded to “videos” however they were never provided to them.

The family of JOHN DOE #1 said “the only interview we ever had with Weber was in the office of WASD Principal Brandon Pardoe. The parties present have previously been outlined in this story.

Is this standard practice?

So, who is actually running the investigation?

Later in the article, Results of the local investigation were forwarded to Myrtle Beach police, who chose not to file charges, Weber said.

Was the pre-determined outcome narrative that the incident was a “prank” then provided to Myrtle Beach Police?

None of those results were ever shared with the family of JOHN DOE #1.

However as is well documented in this series, they were shared with local criminal defense attorney George Lepley.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department confirmed to Fox Sports Williamsport that Weber shared with them the reason the case would not go forward was according to Weber, “the family of JOHN DOE #1 said they did not want to press charges.”

When asked about this assertion, the family of JOHN DOE #1 said this is “absolutely false, Weber lied!”

So is this why Lepley felt comfortable offering this statement on the Fox Sports Williamsport Facebook page?

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 1:09 p.m.
George E Lepley Jr
This matter was reviewed by law enforcement in Myrtle Beach and found to NOT be appropriate for criminal prosecution. I don’t think you can get anymore independent than that

From the WASD statement as published in the PennLive article, The high school principal, administrators and solicitor participated in the investigation, according to the district’s statement.

The principal was involved only after it was determined he did not have a conflict of interest or a relationship with those involved, the district said. A second administrator also participated, as did school resource officers who are members of the Williamsport Bureau of Police, the statement said.

Did a “neutral” third party with no affiliation with WASD run the conflict of interest check?

The WASD has to date not identified by name the second administrator in the investigation, even though all of those materials were previously asked for in a Fox Sports Williamsport Right to Know Law Request.

That information was also not provided to FSW during the RTKL mediation process.

As is the case with all disciplinary matters of this degree, the district says it allows legal counsel to be present when a student is interviewed and when potential disciplinary measures are discussed. No outside legal counsel was present for any other meetings or interviews, it says.

The district said privacy laws prevent it from disclosing any discipline measures.

The district in its statement says it “has communicated with the families of all students involved in the incident to the full extent to which we have been able. We have done this while abiding by federal educational privacy laws.

“We understand these restrictions can be frustrating for parents, students and community members.

“However, the district worked directly with the families of the students involved to provide the most comfortable and appropriate educational setting for the students following the incident and has at all times aimed to act in the best interest of the students.

The family of JOHN DOE #1 said after reading this statement “we are deeply offended and hurt since the WASD basically stopped communicating with us and we couldn’t get any answers.”

Why has the family of JOHN DOE #1 been unable to obtain any answers?

From the WASD issued statement as it appeared in the PennLive article; “The Williamsport Area School District does not condone inappropriate and indecent behavior. The district has fully conducted an investigation of this incident and has transparently cooperated and participated with law enforcement officials.

It is interesting to note that in September 2018, two different Myrtle Beach Police Department members conducting their own investigation reached out to WAHS Principal Brandon Pardoe inquiring about the case.

As previously noted in this series and information obtained through the RTKL requests, Pardoe never volunteered the fact he had already conducted his own investigation as well as interviews of JOHN DOE #1 and ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 with MBPD.

When Myrtle Beach Police Department officials were made aware of this fact, the in-person reactions of those people were not good.

A senior law enforcement source in a neutral jurisdiction contacted for this story shared “this may constitute failure to report and obstruction of justice and other issues for any of those involved.”

 

WHAT IS THE FALLOUT OF THE MYRTLE BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT BEING MISLED?

It appears the Myrtle Beach Police Department was intentionally misled by Weber and Pardoe and significant evidentiary materials and material facts withheld.

This fact was first and exclusively reported in the FSW “Millionaire Mayhem” story in August of 2018.

Myrtle Beach law enforcement officials who spoke with Fox Sports Williamsport in person this past week in Myrtle Beach confirmed there is a report that exists in regard to the statement made by WASD solicitor Fred Holland as “indecent and inappropriate conduct by a Williamsport baseball player.”

A senior active law enforcement source in a neutral jurisdiction to this case contacted for this story shared the following after reviewing the narrative of the incident offered by Detective Willie Weber in the PennLive article authored by John Beauge, “It could be hazing, bullying to sexual harassment. Depends on the incident and what role everyone played.”

When asked about the video outlined in the Fox Sports Williamsport articles, “That would be a Sexual Assault, additional charges (would be) possible for videoing and distribution of it.”

 

GOVERNOR WOLF HAZING LAW ADOPTED IN 2016

According to triblive.com, the “Greater Latrobe School District and state police are investigating an alleged hazing incident involving the junior high wrestling team.”

“Superintendent Georgia Teppert said Tuesday she couldn’t comment on specifics of the investigation because of student privacy and personnel issues. The district is “taking all appropriate actions necessary,” has met with individual parents and will send a letter to parents, she said in a statement.”

“Gov. Tom Wolf in May 2016 signed a bill expanding Pennsylvania’s anti-hazing law to apply not only to college students but also to those in seventh through 12th grades. The law required public and private secondary schools to adopt anti-hazing policies, post them online and to provide athletic coaches with a copy.”

Why is the Greater Latrobe School District Superintendent Georgia Teppert able to offer comment and sending letters to parents while protecting student’s rights and abiding by all applicable laws on an investigation that has just begun?

How does this same standard not apply to WASD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers in the Myrtle Beach incidents?

Why has the WASD waited 22 months to offer an “official statement” with no names on it?

To date, the only publicly known action WASD Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers has taken is to silence the WASD Solicitor Fred Holland in the Myrtle Beach matter as previously reported and documented in “A Baseball Story”.

 

ADVOCACY AGENCIES WEIGH IN ON FSW STORIES

The Education Law Center based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a mission to ensure access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania.

From their website, We pursue this mission by focusing on the most underserved students: children living in poverty, children of color, children with disabilities, children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, children experiencing homelessness, English learners, LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming students – and many who are at the intersection of these identities.

The Education Law Center Legal Director, Maura McInerney, Esq, gave the following assessment after reviewing Fox Sports Williamsport “A Baseball Story”, Parts I-VII.

“This was a school sponsored event and therefore the District had a clear obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.  In addition, as mandatory reporters under Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law, District employees were required to immediately report the incident for investigation as suspected child abuse, in addition to fully cooperating with any criminal investigation conducted by local law enforcement. The District should have reported the abuse, thoroughly investigated the incident, and notified the School Board of the matter as soon as they know about it.”

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) based in Harrisburg recently reviewed “A Baseball Story” and Suzanne Estrella, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), Legal Director offered the following for this story.

“What we say and do about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault matters. Deliberate indifference is actionable and dangerous. We must create cultures where intolerable behavior is in fact intolerable.”

She added, “Athletes and coaches are community leaders that have an enormous influence on how others view healthy relationships, safety and respect. Coaches and team leaders should work to create a culture inside the locker room and beyond that rejects the status quo of boys will be boys or locker room talk as acceptable behavior.  We encourage athletes and coaches to be leaders in rejecting actions like the ones that were reported among the Williamsport baseball team and taking the proper steps to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

Estrella also offered the following on the Title IX issues brought up in “A Baseball Story” series of stories.

Title IX is a civil rights law that provides for equal education opportunity.  It prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex.

Title IX mandates that schools have a prompt and effective response to sexual assault that occurs in context of the education program or activity – this would include a sexual assault on a field trip

Title IX also requires schools to provide some type of prevention training.

She also weighed in on the crimes alleged to have occurred, in Pennsylvania, “the crimes described in the FSW series of stories include sexual assault, battery, possibly sextortion, and the unlawful dissemination of an intimate image.”

To date, no criminal charges have been filed in South Carolina or Pennsylvania in this case.

There is help, hope, and healing available for victims and their families, no matter when the abuse occurred. Call the PCAR hotline anytime at 1-888-772-PCAR or visit www.pcar.org for more information or to find your local victim service program.  

If your organization or school needs training on sexual assault-related issues, please call PCAR at 717-728-9740.

 

GEORGE LEPLEY STAYED AT THE ATLANTICA RESORT

Fox Sports Williamsport recently confirmed George Lepley stayed at the Atlantica Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from March 24 – March 31, 2018.

His room was next to a room that was assigned to the group of rooms reserved and booked by then head coach Ryan Miller.

Since the publication of Parts 1-7 of this series, multiple fact witnesses have shared with Fox Sports Williamsport that Lepley was approached about the “indecent and inappropriate behavior” issues nearly immediately after they happened in Myrtle Beach.

Is it reasonable to think that Lepley then called Pardoe or informed then head coach Ryan Miller while in Myrtle Beach?

Is this why the WASD is unwilling to provide the phone records for Brandon Pardoe in the same time frame they provided the same records for Sean McCann and Randy Zangara?

(Photo Courtesy: Todd Bartley)

(Atlantic Ocean View of the Atlantica Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

 

FSW SEEKS COMMENT FROM WASD BOARD MEMBERS

The WASD statement continued, “We urge our students, families and community members to avoid posting statements to social media that are inaccurate or misleading, as those statements can be detrimental and potentially harmful to our students.”

Is it acceptable then for the WASD to continue issuing statements to the public and on social media that are inaccurate or misleading?

Does the WASD accept those statements can be detrimental and potentially harmful to their students?

Fox Sports Williamsport reached out to WASD Board Member Adam Welteroth for comment on the series of articles published to date.

Welteroth offered the following, “I take all allegations and accusations involving the WASD, our students and employees seriously. Unfortunately, due to the (PSBA) Pennsylvania School Board Association Code of Conduct I am unable to make a comment on the matter outside of a public meeting.” (editor emphasis added)

The next WASD School Board meeting is slated for Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the District Service Center, 2780 West Fourth Street, Williamsport.

 

PENNLIVE AUTHOR HAS LONG STANDING ASSOCIATION WITH

LEPLEY, BAER & DIXON

It is a known fact in the Williamsport community the John Bower Basketball League is where the youth of this community go to not only play but to make lifelong friends.

WASD School Board President Lori Baer has a long history with the John Bower Basketball League as does PennLive author John Beauge both serving as board members.

George Lepley has also had a long standing affiliation with the John Bower Basketball League as well.

Dixon runs the website for the John Bower Basketball League and has reportedly coached in the league for years. The league website is powered by his company PA Sports Live.

Does Dixon have clearances to coach?

Has the John Bower Basketball League informed parents that Dixon runs their website?

The family owned business which employs Ryan Miller is also a sponsor of the John Bower Basketball League.

Is it plausible to think that Baer and or Lepley shared anything about the Myrtle Beach trip with John Beauge?

Is it possible to think that Beauge took the word of his longtime friends (Baer, Lepley, Weber) over a series of articles (“A Baseball Story”) Beauge seems to lack complete command over?

Was it a baseball courtesy?

Is it possible that PennLive, former employer of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sara Ganim who broke the Sandusky scandal wide open could be on the wrong side of history in this story for the sake of their author protecting friends in high places?

 

DID LORI BAER WEAPONIZE THE WASD TAX OFFICE?

On December 19, 2019, WASD School Board president Lori Baer was contacted for comment on “A Baseball Story” and later that same day an arrest warrant was issued by the WASD School Tax Office for this author.

It is interesting to note, that same WASD School Tax Office had previously sent this author a letter stating his company had until January 3, 2020 to respond to its request.

Part I of “A Baseball Story” was published on December 29, 2019, 10 days after the WASD School Tax Office attempted to have this author arrested.

 

BEAUGE EMAILS REQUEST FOR COMMENT TO THIS AUTHOR

The evening of Friday, January 24th, 2020 John Beauge e-mailed a request for comment on a lawsuit filed by Ryan Miller against Colonial Radio Group of Williamsport, LLC and other entities.

This author was unable to provide comment due to traveling back from Myrtle Beach and the lawsuit had not yet been served.

An article was published first thing Saturday morning January 25th on PennLive.com and shared to Facebook and then re-posted a day later.

For the record, this author says, “If Ryan Miller had as much determination in protecting children in his care as he does having a coordinated legal response protecting himself we would be closer to the expectations of people who ask us to trust them.”

 

COINCIDENCE OR NOT?

In this case there have so many dates and instances of peculiar behavior to believe they happened by chance or coincidence.

A few examples to consider:

On June 5, 2018 the FAMILY of JOHN DOE #1 left a Voice Mail for WAHS officials as a follow-up on the case, nearly 2 hours later George Lepley and Fred Holland meet in Brandon Pardoe’s office to discuss the case for an additional 2 hours.

FAMILY of JOHN DOE #1 has already stated  they had no further communication on the case with WASD.

On August 24, 2018, the “Millionaire Mayhem” story was published by Fox Sports Williamsport and 34 minutes later Darrick Dixon reaches out to FAMILY of JOHN DOE #1.

How did Darrick Dixon obtain the identity of the FAMILY of JOHN DOE #1?

As the “Baseball Story” series was in development any number of fact witnesses were contacted and the attempts to silence this author began in earnest in November 2019.

On November 17, 2019 an article outlining a visit from PSP and a subsequent interview with a fact witness was published.

In response, PennLive published the following article on November 21, 2019.

This case has subsequently been resolved and the complaint withdrawn.

Then on December 19, 2019, the weaponization of the municipal income tax office and arrest warrant issued for this author the same day as WASD Board President Lori Baer is asked for comment on the “Baseball Story”.

This attempt was made even though this author had previously received a letter from the municipal income tax office stating January 3, 2020 was the response date.

Are these instances just coincidence?

 

MILLER LAWSUIT AND ASSERTIONS ON THE RECORD

Miller in his lawsuit claims to be harmed by a published MBPD Police Report previously listing him as the perpetrator instead of a witness to a simple assault case.

In fact, his lawyer contacted this author on New Year’s Eve 2019 via e-mail proclaiming Miller to be the “hero and not the villain.”

He cites in #24 of his complaint, “While on break from coaching duties during the baseball tournament, Mr. Miller and Coaches Kyle Schneider and Joel Worthington were on the balcony of a hotel room overlooking a nearby beach when they witnessed an unknown man and woman arguing on the beachfront.”

Fox Sports Williamsport already published a corrective statement that Miller was not arrested as a result of this incident.

The publicly searchable database provides names of parties involved in incidents.

#24 of the complaint points out some significant deficiencies however, why can’t Miller tell us what hotel or room number that balcony view was from?

When Miller says, “While on break from coaching duties during the baseball tournament”, does that mean his responsibilities only applied when he was on the field “coaching” and not at the hotel or anywhere else in Myrtle Beach?

Is it the same mindset now since Miller resigned and his fellow witness and current WAHS head coach Kyle Schneider subscribes too?

Miller also claims in his complaint he has no knowledge of any of the indecent or inappropriate behavior of a baseball player in Myrtle Beach and only learned of it through rumors in the summer of 2018.

What’s worse, not having any knowledge of the whereabouts of the student athletes a coach is responsible for while in Myrtle Beach or potentially playing an active role in a cover-up of what obviously took place?

Remember the WASD has already said in the RTKL responses under the penalty of perjury that there was no hotel room assignment list and when they asked Miller for one he could not provide one.

Remember, there were no adult chaperones on the trip other than the coaching staff which according to the Miller complaint he and a pair of coaches were on an unknown hotel balcony in Myrtle Beach.

 

MILLER ATTORNEYS CONFIRM CARNEVALE IN MYRTLE BEACH

Attorneys for Ryan Miller e-mailed this author on January 9, 2020 expressing their client’s issues with “A Baseball Story” series. Ironically, the mailed versions of that same letter showed up to the offices of Colonial Radio Group of Williamsport at the end of this past week coinciding with the filing of the aforementioned lawsuit.

Miller conveniently omitted the “romantic getaway” issue from his lawsuit.

Fox Sports Williamsport is still waiting for a response from the attorneys for Miller on identifying not only the hotel name but the room number as well.

Miller also conveniently omitted from the complaint him showing up to a game at Bowman Field drunk.

Is that because he is unable to disprove this fact?

Former Millionaire baseball player Cody Shimp who is currently on the St. Bonaventure baseball team roster has been an outspoken critic of the “A Baseball Story” series online.

Fox Sports Williamsport has confirmed Shimp was also very outspoken after Miller showed up drunk at Bowman Field and how WASD leaders needed to do something to remove him as head coach.

Shimp is very well informed about what actually happened in Myrtle Beach with his online comments which have been derogatory in nature toward the victims in this case and their playing ability.

Is Cody Shimp well informed since his family stayed in the same Myrtle Beach rental as WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe and his family?

Attempts to reach Cody Shimp for comment on this story were unsuccessful.

This author looks forward to obtaining all the information and answers that have been sought for the past 22 months in this case and the lawsuit filed recently by Ryan Miller will give this community that opportunity.

This author and Fox Sports Williamsport perceive this lawsuit as a blatant attempt of witness intimidation and the silencing of fact witnesses.

Reason calls for an independent third party investigation into the actions undertaken by the Williamsport Area School District and its employees relating to the events in Myrtle Beach.

There are still so many unanswered questions that create doubt in the community that an additional independent investigation, that if nothing happened as the WASD claims would hurt no one.

Fox Sports Williamsport has also confirmed with the family of JOHN DOE #1, they have recorded an interview with WNEP-TV about this case and anticipate it airing in the near future.

What kind of liability is the WASD opening itself up to by not admitting in responses there were any victims of the clearly documented events in Myrtle Beach and the subsequent fallout?

 

LINKS TO 7-PART SERIES PUBLISHED BY FOX SPORTS WILLIAMSPORT

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART V

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART III

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART II

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART I