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

Attorney General Josh Shapiro (top), Roger Freed WAHS 9th grade principal (bottom left)
Dr. Susan L. Bigger, WASD Assistant Superintendent and Brandon Pardoe WAHS head principal (bottom right)

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 XVIII

By Todd Bartley, Fox Sports Williamsport

Todd@Foxsportswilliamsport.com

 

LITTLE LEAUGUE COMPLEX HOSTED 2018 MILLIONAIRES BASEBALL BANQUET

Fox Sports Williamsport has obtained photographic evidence the cafeteria area located in the Little League headquarters building was used as the venue to celebrate the 2018 Williamsport Millionaires baseball team.

Individuals appearing in multiple photos are Nick Caringi, former Williamsport assistant baseball coach and Little League employee as well as current head coach Kyle Schneider, assistant baseball coach Joel Worthington, athletic director Sean McCann, Jamie Joy, Little League employee seated at the same table with his father-in-law criminal defense attorney George Lepley.

The obtained photos were compared to those from previous Little League luncheons.

Easily identifiable in the photos is “champions” on the wall and a multitude of Little League Word Series team photos with many different color uniforms identifying the region of the world they hail from.

Based on the time stamps of the photos, the banquet occurred on June 15, 2018.

Based upon the exclusive reporting of FSW in this series; that puts it just 10 days after the June 5, 2018 conclusion of the investigations run by WAHS principal Brandon Pardoe and former Lycoming County chief detective Willie Weber.

FSW reached out to Little League with the following questions recently.

Was the Little League complex or facility in South Williamsport used by the Williamsport High School Baseball team in 2018 for an awards banquet?

If so, was it rented?

Is the facility available for rentals to any team, group or organization?

On Monday morning, Kevin Fountain, Director of Media Relations for Little League International provided the following:

“Thanks for reaching out. As we have shared with your previous requests on this matter, it would be inappropriate for us to comment. Have a nice week.”

When did it become “inappropriate for us to comment” when asking about the use of a Little League International facility?

JOHN DOE #1, who was the victim of “criminal sexual misconduct” does not appear in any of the awards banquet photos since he had previously been kicked off the team.

Instead the people that conspired to keep the story quiet were hosted by Little League and its employees.

Was the same rigorous vetting process employed by Little League International to allow people on the complex for the Little League World Series prior to hosting this event or was it yet another baseball courtesy?

To be fair, was Little League International informed by any of its employees who were on the Myrtle Beach trip that “criminal sexual misconduct” occurred?

Did former Lycoming County chief detective Willie Weber and Little League World Series team host (uncle) inform Little League International he was part of the investigation in this matter?

Or did Weber tell Little League International it was just a “prank”?

Or was it just “boys being boys”?

Does that make the Little League International response even more perplexing with their stated narrative in regard to protecting children?

 

FREED JOINED WASD INVESTIGATION IN 2018

FSW has confirmed, Roger Freed, WAHS 9th Grade Principal was the previously unidentified administrator that participated in the investigations conducted by the WASD.

His identity was not provided in the Right to Know answers provided to FSW by the WASD.

Freed is a direct report to WAHS head principal Brandon Pardoe.

According to an article published by the Sun-Gazette on January 15, 2018, Roger Freed was appointed 9th Grade Principal at Williamsport Area High School.

FSW continues to develop information relating to the role Freed played in this case.

 

BIGGER TITLE IX TROUBLE?

Dr. Susan Bigger, WAHS Assistant  Superintendent at the time of the incident in Myrtle Beach in 2018 and subsequent investigations served in a capacity to address Title IX issues related to students.

The WASD provided at the bottom of page 1, its “Nondiscrimination Policy” contained in the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook 2017-2018; which addressed issues related to the Title IX Education Amendment of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act of 1990.

The Williamsport Area School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap in its activities, programs, or employment practices as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX Education Amendment of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. 

For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by handicapped individuals, contact:  Mrs. Anne Logue, Director of Human Resources, for issues related to staff, and Dr. Susan Bigger, Assistant  Superintendent, for student related issues. 

Both are located at the Williamsport Area School District, 2780 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA  17701. Telephone number 570-327-5500, ext. 40210 for Mrs. Logue and ext. 40511 for Dr. Bigger

A video depicts what Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner described as “criminal sexual misconduct” and WASD Solicitor Fred Holland characterized as “indecent and inappropriate conduct” and has subsequently been referred to PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro for review.

Do the acts depicted on video amount to a Title IX violation?

Do the acts depicted on video amount to a deprivation of a student’s civil rights?

What if any of the victims noted in this series had conditions that qualify under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990?

In PART VIII Suzanne Estrella, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), Legal Director 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.

 

Additionally from From PART VIII  of this series:

MILLER LAWSUIT AND ASSERTIONS ON THE RECORD

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

In fact, his lawyer contacted FSW 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 subsequently filed 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.”

Is it plausible this room would be part of a room list documenting where everyone on the trip was staying?

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

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

#24 of the Miller 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?

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.

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 FSW 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?

Why did WASD hire a former assistant baseball coach with two prior DUI’s as a head coach?

Was that the decision of the WAHS Athletic Director or WAHS Principal Brandon Pardoe?

 

FAIR WARNING GIVEN TO MILLER AND LAWFIRM REPRESENTING HIM BY FSW

Upon receiving the letter from the Miller attorneys; FSW gave notice to Marshall and Page IV that their client was facing a civil lawsuit from JOHN DOE #1 and that sources confirmed the criminal case had been reopened. The reopening brought up possible criminal liability for the head coach and others on the trip.

With these facts in hand, McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall filed the lawsuit against FSW and others, anyway.

 

WASD SCHOOL CONDUCT MANUAL COMPLETELY IGNORED

FSW obtained a copy of the WAHS School Conduct Guidelines, in Appendix II, under Categories – IV it states:

Acts which result in violence to another person or property or which pose a direct threat to the safety of others in the school. These acts are clearly criminal and are so serious that they always require administrative actions which result in the immediate removal of the student from the school, the intervention of law enforcement authorities and  actions by the board of school directors.

Examples

  • Unmodified conduct
  • Assault/battery
  • Extortion
  • Bomb threat
  • Possession/use/transfer/of dangerous weapons
  • Vandalism
  • Possession/sale of stolen property
  • Arson
  • Furnishing/selling/Possession of unauthorized substances

Procedures

a. The administration verifies the offense, confers with the staff involved and meets with the student.

b. The student is immediately removed from the school environment.

c. Law enforcement officials are contacted.

d. A complete and accurate report is submitted to the superintendent for board action.

e. The student is given a full due process hearing before the board.

Disciplinary Option & Responses

  • Expulsion
  • Alternative schools
  • Police intervention

As noted in this series, WASD administrators continue to assert law enforcement made them aware of the alleged incident. Even if that is true, the subsequent procedures were not followed.

The evidence to that effect is found in PART VII.

After issuing its first statement in the matter in nearly 2 years the WASD also offered the following, “The Williamsport Area School District does not condone inappropriate and indecent behavior.”

Fox Sports Williamsport has obtained a photo of ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 in uniform after the 2018 District II Class 6A Baseball Championship game with his parents on each side and wearing a District II Championship medal.

Why was ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 in uniform after the 2018 District II Class 6A Baseball Championship game with his parents on each side and wearing a District II Championship medal and not suspended for the rest of the season?

Was it yet another baseball courtesy?

 

BASED ON ACT 140 PENSIONS ARE AT RISK IN THIS CASE

FSW researched state pension forfeiture statues and found the Pension Forfeiture Overview.

The right of a person to receive any retirement benefit from PSERS is subject to forfeiture as provided by the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act (“Forfeiture Act”) or ACT 140.

The law mandates that all service and benefits payable to a PSERS member be forfeited if the member is found guilty of, or enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any crime identified in the Forfeiture Act, when the crime is committed through the member’s position as a public employee or official or when the member’s public employment places the member in a position to commit the crime(s).

All Pennsylvania criminal offenses that are classified as felonies or punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding five years are forfeitable offenses.   Several misdemeanor crimes also are forfeitable offenses.

By way of example, the list of forfeitable Pennsylvania crimes includes, but is not limited to: theft by unlawful taking or disposition; theft by deception; theft of services; theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received; forgery; tampering with records; bribery; perjury; misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions; tampering with public records or information; criminal attempt, solicitation and conspiracy; murder; voluntary manslaughter; involuntary manslaughter; aggravated assault; retail theft; identity theft; corruption of minors; unlawful contact with minor; distribution of computer virus; bomb threats; and the sexual offenses listed in Chapter 31, Subchapter B of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.

In addition, any crime set forth in Federal law or the laws of any other state is a forfeitable offense, if the crime is substantially the same as any forfeitable Pennsylvania crime.

The Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act 1978-140 (Act 140) applies to all SERS members who commit certain crimes in relation to their employment. Enforcement of Act 140 is mandatory. Pennsylvania courts have held that SERS has no discretion in its application. It does not matter if the crime is relatively minor compared to the value of pension benefits; if Act 140 is triggered, it must be applied.

The Pennsylvania Constitution and Judicial Code also contain forfeiture provisions that apply to members of the judiciary, for whom forfeiture can occur even if no crime has been committed.

Act 140 requires forfeiture of all pension and retirement benefits by any SERS member who commits certain crimes.

Also forfeited are any benefits for the member’s beneficiaries and survivor annuitants. The only benefits Act 140 allows a SERS member to receive are his or her contributions paid into the pension fund, without interest. Even these may be lost, however, because they can be used to pay fines and restitution associated with the criminal conviction.

Act 140 is triggered if a SERS member is convicted of, pleads guilty, or has no defense to any listed crime committed through the member’s public office or position or when public employment puts the member in a position to commit the crime.

Pennsylvania crimes covered by Act 140 are found in 43 P.S. Section 1312. Federal crimes that are substantially the same as the Pennsylvania crimes are also covered by Act 140.

To paraphrase, they are:

  • Any of the criminal offenses set forth in Subchapter B of Chapter 31 (relating to definition of offenses) when the criminal offense is committed by a school employee as defined in 24 Pa. C.S. Section 8102 (relating to definitions) against a student
  • Section 3922 (relating to theft by deception) when the criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher
  • Section 3923 (relating to theft by extortion) when the criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher
  • Section 3926 (relating to theft of services) when the criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher
  • Section 3927 (relating to theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received), when the criminal culpability reaches the level of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher
  • Section 4101 (relating to forgery)
  • Section 4104 (relating to tampering with records or identification)
  • Section 4702 (relating to threats and other improper influence in official and political matters)
  • Section 4902 (relating to perjury)
  • Section 4903(a) (relating to false swearing)
  • Section 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities)
  • Section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities)
  • Section 4909 (relating to witness or informant taking bribe)
  • Section 4910 (relating to tampering with or fabricating physical evidence)
  • Section 4911 (relating to tampering with public records or information)
  • Section 4952 (relating to intimidation of witnesses or victims)
  • Section 4953 (relating to retaliation against witness, victim or party)
  • Section 5101 (relating to obstructing administration of law or other governmental function)
  • Section 5301 (relating to official oppression)
  • Section 5302 (relating to speculating or wagering on official action or information)

Pension Forfeiture (DC Plan)

The right of a person to receive any retirement benefit from PSERS is subject to forfeiture as provided by the Forfeiture Act (refer to Pension Forfeiture Overview section).  A member forfeits all accumulated employer contributions and investment earnings, if any, on those contributions in the member’s DC account.  A member’s contributions to the DC Plan, including all mandatory employee, voluntary contributions, and all amounts rolled-over into the DC plan with all investment earnings, if any, on all such contributions, shall be available for restitution.

If you need additional information about the Pension Forfeiture Act and how it relates to PSERS retirement benefits, or need to report a potential pension forfeiture matter to PSERS, please contact your PSERS’ Employer Service Center representative.

Putting aside for a moment that WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe never reached out to the MBPD as a mandated reporter to inform them he had been informed by law enforcement of the incident.

When Pardoe received a call from MBPD Detective Aiesi in Septmeber 2018, was he obligated under ACT 140 to disclose the fact he ran an investigation into the events of the Myrtle Beach trip?

When he received a second call the same day from another MBPD Detective, was the fact he ran an investigation into the events of the Myrtle Beach trip disclosed then?

Since the recorded phone conversation makes no mention of it, did Pardoe commit any number of these offenses;

  • Section 4902 (relating to perjury)
  • Section 4903(a) (relating to false swearing)
  • Section 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities)
  • Section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities)

thus, putting his pension in jeopardy?

 

According to the RADIO SHOW CALLER CLAIMS in PART XVI:

“EVERYONE INVOLVED KNEW INSTANTANEOUSLY AFTER IT HAPPENED”

 

FSW has the following question for the current and former WASD School Board members, administration, teachers, staff, coaches and parents; was it all worth it?

PART XIX is forthcoming.

 

LINKS TO 18-PART SERIES PUBLISHED BY FOX SPORTS WILLIAMSPORT

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

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

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

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

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

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

BREAKING NEWS: PA AG Press Office confirms receipt of Criminal Sexual Misconduct referral from DA Gardner

UPDATE: Charges filed in Greater Latrobe Junior High hazing case cited in “A Baseball Story”

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

EXCLUSIVE: AG Shapiro press office on referral: “If and when we receive it, it will be promptly reviewed”

BREAKING NEWS: District Attorney Gardner refers Myrtle Beach case to PA Attorney General – PART XV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fans often ask me, what if?

Millionaire Baseball Mayhem in Myrtle Beach