It is strange that Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar never prosecuted Jerry Sandusky on child-rape charges 13 years ago, some speculate, because Gricar was known for being fiercely independent and hard on crime.
But it is even stranger that we cannot ask Gricar why Sandusky was not put behind bars, because the tough-as-nails district attorney disappeared in 2005. And though he was declared dead July of this year, his body has never been found.
"People ask why Ray did not prosecute, and I have no problem saying, because he clearly felt he didn't have a case for a 'successful' prosecution," Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar’s nephew , told The Patriot-News.
"... One thing I can say is that Ray was beholden to no one, was not a politician."
This district attorney had “a bitter taste in his mouth for the [Penn State] program, and its coach,” according to his nephew, and never prosecuted Sandusky. He disappeared on April 15, 2005 after telling his girlfriend that he was going on a drive.
Ray Gricar’s car was found the next day in a Lewisburg parking lot and his laptop, sans hard drive, was found in the Susquehanna River, according to the Patriot-News.
Ray Gricar’s friend, Montour County District Attorney Robert Buehner Jr., told the New York Times that if the ardent district attorney had committed suicide, he would have wanted his body found. But in the case of possible foul play, no suspects have emerged from investigations.
When it comes to the Sandusky case, friends and former co-workers are all of the opinion that Ray Gricar would never back down from a righteous prosecution.
“No one got a bye with Ray,” Anthony De Boef, who was an assistant district attorney under Gricar for five years told the NY Times. “He didn’t care who you were; he had a job to do.”
And, despite the fact that Ray Gricar had the mother of one of the alleged victims confront Sandusky while police listened, the 1998 report on Sandusky was labeled “unfounded” by the District Attorney’s Office, reports the Patriot-News.
“I would say this about Ray: He would be extremely cautious in proceeding because he wanted to make sure that there would be a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” Buehner told the Patriot News. “You don’t want to go after someone high profile unless you have a compelling case.”
As for the 2002 incident, in which a graduate assistant told Penn State coach Joe Paterno that he witnessed Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the PSU locker rooms, there is no indication that Ray Gricar was notified, reports the Patriot-Times.