With all the publicity about the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State involving the school’s prestigious football program, forgotten is an almost identical story involving a powerful professor and department head at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1990’s. I was the lawyer for the main victim, although there were other victims (but the statute of limitations had run out). The only difference is that officials did not look the other way to the same extent as at Penn State, although the professor and his misuse of the prestige and name of the University of Pennsylvania name was ignored and enabled the professor to molest young boys and the professor was let off the hook. A grave miscarriage of justice and the rape of children was allowed to go unpunished in nearby Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (a county courthouse where I have learned not to expect justice) until the professor got caught again more than a decade later.
Let me give you some background, as there are a lot of interesting background facts and coincidences. I love the University of Pennsylvania. I have three degrees from that University. I received a BS from the Wharton School of Business with a “concentration” in Economics and a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences with a major in Mathematics in 1984. Both of those degrees were with honors, Magna Cum Laude. In fact, I had fun my first two years and a lot of “B”s. When I decided I wanted to stay at Penn for law school, I had to raise my GPA and then got straight “A”s for my last two years, a perfect 4.0. I did get accepted to the Law School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1987. Even while a student in the law school, I was permitted, and took advantage, of the ability to take one course per semester at the Wharton Graduate School.
In the Wharton School, I tool a course in Marketing given by Lawrence Scott Ward, Chairman of the Marketing Department. He in fact lectured to many sections, awhile individual sections were taught by “TA’s” or teaching assistants. His lectures were in the evening, and I used to fall asleep during his class. My friend would sit behind me and she would kick my chair when Dr. Ward walked up my aisle and got too close to me. I took marketing because I had already published my own magazines after graduating Lower Merion High School in mid-year. I did this with my best friend, Leif Owen Klein, whose family was also in the media business. Leif and I met at Lower Merion High School where we published an underground newspaper, and we both went to Penn together. We remain best friends to this day. His father was one of the top people in the Radio Business and was a well-known civil rights activist whose work included working with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Lower Merion is a very affluent suburb of Philadelphia. It is known as part of the “Main Line” and is known for its “old money” WASP population. Foxes were still hunted in the area until recently, and Jews and Blacks are still excluded from one of the prominent country clubs a mile from where I live today. The zip code I lived in until my divorce (I moved into the next zip code 1 mile away) was one of the top 20 most affluent zip codes in America. Some of the DuPont family and the Dorrance family (the Campbell soup heirs) live in the area along with many of the doctors, lawyers and professors who make Philadelphia famous for its colleges, hospitals, and lawyers. Remember the phrase, “A Philadelphia lawyer?” The public schools are so good that many families with endless wealth still send their children to public schools. The public schools receive more money per child then the elite private schools in the area do in tuition.
As times changed, the WASP population had to share the real area with the “new money” professionals like my father, a self-made very prominent Jewish attorney. When my parents moved to the Main Line, there were areas that realtors did not show houses to prospective Jewish purchasers. That was fine because our money was not just new, there was a lot less than people thought and a fraction of what many families in the neighborhood had. My father had one major fault. He was honest and put the client’s interests before his own, a trait which disappeared from the Philadelphia legal scene as I would find out and am writing about in my book about my life as a lawyer, “A White Tear in Red China,” which is not yet finished.
Ward also lived in Lower Merion, as did many Penn professors and doctors. He lived in a nice house with a swimming pool and large brick wall giving him total privacy. He lived two blocks away from Leif’s father. Ward was charismatic and interesting when he lectured, but unlike most professors I had, was arrogant and disinterested when students spoke with him “one on one.” It was true he had a lot to be arrogant about. In addition to being Chairman of the Marketing Department, he also wrote the text book on marketing and was a consultant to major fortune 500 companies.
He also found time to run a non-profit organization called the “Rebound Foundation” which was comprised of students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania to help troubled youth. I never heard of it when I was at Penn. But that was no surprise, as the charity existed as a legal entity which Ward produced when he wanted legitimacy and the Penn name so that he could get access to troubled youth that he should not have had. Ward, it seemed, intended to trouble these children even worse then what they had suffered.
The good professor also had a family, or so the exchange students from the Philippines were told to write their parents when Ward took exchange students to live with him from foreign countries. Ward was so accommodating he wrote the letters out in English and had them translated to Tegalo, the language of the Philippines, so all the students needed to do was copy the letters into their own handwriting and mail them and their families back home would be reassured that all was well, which it was not. The students were told to write, and told how to write, that they were liking living with “Scott and his family” and had taken a trip to Disneyworld with “Scott and his family.” But, Scott Ward had no family, and to my knowledge, but I could be wrong about this, there were no trips to Disneyworld.
In hindsight, Ward’s coldness and distance should have been more surprising. Penn had many famous professors. and famous or not, almost all the faculty liked working with students and enjoyed good, healthy, and normal relationships with the college age students. Ward did not. For example, while I was a student at Penn, Lawrence Klein (a Penn Economics Professor) received the Nobel Peace Prize in economics specifically for econometric forecasting (which is what I had studied as it combined my math and economics programs). There were an abundance of famous teachers there. Before he left office, in one of his public trips and appearances, President Bush (the father) came to Philadelphia to meet with another professor, my good friend’s father, who also lived in Lower Merion. Apparently, Ward created the charity and used his position and the name of the University to give his charity legitimacy and prestige, but that was all of the interactions he had with other Penn professors or students. Ward kept to himself since, as we learned later, he was hiding a lot behind those high brick walls in Lower Merion.
Lower Merion is a very affluent suburb of Philadelphia. It is known as the “Main Line” and is known for its “old money” WASP population. Foxes were still hunted in the area until recently, and “Jews and Blacks” are still excluded from one of the prominent country clubs a mile from where I live. The zip code I lived in until my divorce (I moved into the next zip code 1 mile away) was one of the top 20 most affluent zip codes in America. Some of the DuPont family and the Campbell soup heirs live in the area, as to many of the highly paid athletes from Philadelphia’s top sports teams. The public schools are so good that many families with endless wealth, and Lower Merion has a lot of families with endless wealth, still send their children to public schools. The public schools receive more money per child then the elite private schools do from their enormous tuition bills.
In the 1990’s, in this wealthy suburb, a young man was caught burglarizing a wealthy home. He offered the Lower Merion police a deal. Information for either a reduced sentence or a walk, I forget which. Fortunately, the case landed on the desk of three top detectives, Lt. James Burke, Detective Ray Kuter and Detective Cathy Hart. When I met them, I was in awe. They were Montgomery County’s own version of Law & Order’s Special Victims Unit. I also met with the FBI agents and Customs officials in downtown Philadelphia at the Federal Building at 6th and Arch Streets. In fact, the word I heard was that Ray Kuter had been in Narcotics, where he was “undercover” but was so good and effective, a contract was put out on his life and he was transferred to sex crimes, where I met him. That was the rumor, I don’t know if it is true, but true or not, it is quite plausible. He, along with the other two county detectives, were true “super cops.”
These three top detectives worked directly for the District Attorney’s office of Montgomery County. The young man did “cut a deal,” and provided startling information. That young man told them, and later told me, while we were waiting for a Preliminary Hearing to begin, that he and the other young “guests” of Scott Ward’s secluded mansion originally thought, when they were invited into Ward’s home and saw his wealth, “This is great, what can we steal?” But they were smart, and realized that such an action would be a one-time burglary. Instead, as invited guests (often overnight), they could use Ward’s home as a base and burglarize the neighbors and neighborhood. That is what he was doing when he got caught by the Lower Merion police.
He told authorities how he had been paid for sex by Ward, and now that he was in his early 20’s, he was way too old for the good professor. But he could and still earn money by “hooking up” Ward with other young men, which is what he sometimes did. Ward liked them in the 12 and 13 year age range.
My client was 13 when I met him.
Philadelphia also contains some very poor sections, and while Philadelphia is better known, in terms of poverty, for North Philadelphia (where Temple University is located) for being a largely poor African American area which was neglected by white mayor after white mayor (including the notorious Frank Rizzo) in favor of the white neighborhoods, especially white Italian neighborhoods which received some publicity when gambling came to Atlantic City and caused a “Mob War” in Philadelphia [which may have involved the New York crime families, but I don’t know, as that is not what I do.] Control of Atlantic City, it appears, went from meaningless to very lucrative.
Previously, Atlantic City came under the purview of Philadelphia’s long standing mafia family and its kingpin, Angelo Bruno, who was known to dislike murder (unless it was necessary) unlike his successors who seemed to favor it as a general purpose method of doing business. After gambling came to Atlantic City, Bruno was promptly killed and war broke out. In fact, when I was fresh out of law school, my parents took me to a very good and locally respected Italian restaurant, Dante and Luigis, for dinner on Halloween night.
Dante’s lacked the ambiance of the overpriced Italian restaurants found in every city so only locals go there. We left, and my parents drove me to my rented “row home” in “Center City” about five minutes away. When I got home, I turned on the radio and listened to the news, a habit I picked up from my father, and heard that the son of the reigning Mafia head had just been shot at Dante and Luigi’s. it must have happened within a few minutes of our leaving, and I was so thankful we had left when we did. I had never seen someone got shot, but had a gut feeling that it would have ruined dinner, especially my pasta with red sauce.
But there was another poor white area in Philadelphia known as Kensington which was located in North Philadelphia, and it seems that poor white boys prostituted themselves on certain blocks. I had no idea of this, but Ward knew it and met my client on a street there and took him home in his hundred thousand dollar sports car (and in the early 1990’s, a hundred thousand dollars really bought a nice car :). Aside from the clear moral implications, let me be absolutely clear that the age of consent is 16 in Pennsylvania. The fact that my client may have been trying to “sell his services” was totally irrelevant as a 12 year old can not, legally, factually, or morally engage in consensual sex with an adult.
Let’s be equally clear that the homosexual nature of the act is irrelevant. While child prostitution is as repugnant as an act can be, it has nothing to do with the fact that this was between males, like in the Penn State case receiving national attention. Sex between Sandusky or Ward and a 12 year old is rape. No ifs, ands, or buts. The gender of the child is irrelevant. Damage to the child is severe and inexcusable. We don’t punish homosexuality. We punish child rape and pedophilia, and we need to punish those acts severely.
When the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office received the information about Scott Ward, a/k/a L. Scott Ward a/k/a Lawrence Scott Ward, they had their informant set up a sting. It was amazing, but the police found a PA State Police officer who could pose as a 15 year old. He did have a “baby face,” but when I met him, and he was no longer undercover, and the semi-automatic on his hip added a few years to his age. He was waiting, as well, to testify. Ward did set up a date with the trooper and an agreement was made to exchange sex for money, according to the informant, and Ward was arrested with much publicity. The entire incident was tape recorded on new equipment as well as overheard by the first assistant district attorney. Unfortunately, as the equipment was new, it turned out that the tapes were not actually moving and recording, even though the needles indicated that they were. This would prove to be a “challenge” for the prosecution.
When the story of Ward’s arrest hit the press, my client was, pursuant to a Court Order finding him delinquent, residing in, and in the custody of, a respected institution for children with a variety of problems. The good professor, L. Scott Ward, had been visiting my client while my client was in custody. Using the name of his charity, the “Rebound Foundation” and the name of the University of Pennsylvania, Ward was given access to my client as officials believed that Ward was acting under the auspices of a legitimate charity affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and “fortunately” helping my poor client, who had no one else to help him. Ward was allowed to visit with my client and ultimately, take him out of the institution for overnight visits.
Instead of helping my client, Ward was helping himself to my client, even though my client was essentially in “protective custody” because he had been prostituting himself on the streets of Kensington. I met the top administrators, however, at the institution, and they were good decent people who were deceived by Ward, a master of deception and marketing, who used his skills as an expert at marketing to market himself as something he was not.
I did subsequently represent my client in civil lawsuits against Ward and also against the Institution where my client had been entrusted, and because those settlements contained confidentiality provisions, I am not mentioning the name of the Institution. Of course, I am not mentioning the name of my client, since he was a minor and we tried to keep his name out of the press, while Ward’s lawyers tried to put his name in the press. Also, the settlement required me to destroy my file, which contained, as a necessary part thereof, what I considered child pornography (a central issue in the criminal case since the pictures were of males taken in the Philippines whose age could not be proven.)
Ward was smart enough and did not have in his possession (at least not which the police could find) pictures of himself engaging in sex acts with American, and thus traceable, youth. Furthermore, while it appeared that the boys in the pictures were underage, given that children age differently, it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the children engaged in sex acts were under 16. There were many pictures of clearly underage boys mixed in, but the pictures of children under the age of 16, while sexually suggestive, were not per se pornographic. Ward was a master at walking on the edge of a razor. My possession of these pictures (and other evidence) was so that I could nail the good professor to the wall and also assist the criminal prosecution because the good professor did not have the 5th Amendment right to remain silent in a civil lawsuit, so I strategically filed my lawsuit while the criminal case was pending to force Ward to turn over incriminating evidence such as the pictures and answer, under oath, certain specific factual accusations [more about that later].
In fact, not only did I possess this potentially unlawful evidence with the knowledge and blessing of the state and local authorities, I had to beat defense counsel who appealed, on two occasions, to the Superior Court (an appellate Court) the Orders of the trial Judge. That kind of delay and obstruction was unprecedented in a civil lawsuit over mere “discovery.” But after the case was settled, I not only had to destroy my copies of the evidence, I was very anxious to no longer have these things in my possession. Believe it or not, many of the pictures were on computer disk, and the bastard gave me my first computer virus.
When the proper officials at the Institution saw that Ward had been arrested and why, they questioned my client, who did what many victims of child rape do. He denied it because he was afraid and embarrassed. But a top administrator persisted in interviewing my client and brought in my friend, an expert psychologist who specialized in working with both victims and offenders of child sexual abuse. My client finally admitted to engaging in certain activities with the good professor, and the police were called.
My client’s multiple versions of the story would come back to haunt all of us who wanted to see the professor’s tenure moved from Penn to Prison. But, my client was to afraid and embarrassed to admit to everything that had occurred and admitted to allowing the professor to perform certain acts but denied engaging in what he perceived as more embarrassing activities. According to what I learn from watching movies and documentaries on TV (such as LockUp on MSNBC), his lies are consistent with the actions of prisoners who engage in certain male on male sexual activity but then deny any homosexuality because they did not engage in other activities. Forgive my deliberate vagueness, but an adult will understand what I am referring to, and I do not want to have to put an “adult content advisory” on this Blog.
After my client admitted to the administrator and my psychologist friend that there had been improper sexual contact, and the fraudulent nature of the charity was exposed, the proper authorities were notified, and a second set of charges were filed against Professor Ward. All of this occurred before the OJ case, but Ward assembled his own “Dream Team,” of lawyers. I would confront other similarities with the OJ case. The dream team improperly subpoenaed my client’s confidential mental health records, and my psychologist friend asked me if I would represent my client pro bono (which means for free) in protecting my client’s, the victim’s, right to privacy.
It was pure coincidence that the case involved a former professor of mine whom I never liked and my alma matter, but I felt compelled to help protect my client and help put the bastard away. I was also deeply angry at the manner in which the University of Pennsylvania, its reputation and name, had been used to exploit and rape children. A cursory review of my earlier post on “Human Trafficking”, which includes sex trafficking and child prostitution, will clearly evidence my passion to see criminals who engage in any aspect of this behavior jailed for a very long time.
The case, and my involvement therein, would take many twist and turns, and consume a tremendous amount of my time and money, as I will discuss in the next installment of this true story. But I have had very little sleep and am tired of writing.