Was it corruption, incompetence, or both that ruined this man’s life?
Former Pennsylvania psychologist says he reported child molestation, lost license
Jim Singer, formerly a psychologist working in Pennsylvania, said that he reported a case of child molestation in 1986 to Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services agency, and not only was his report ignored, but soon after, in retaliation, the Pennsylvania Psychology Board prosecuted Singer and eventually removed his license to practice psychology.
As the aftermath of the Penn State University molestation scandal unfolds, most observers believe that if the proper authorities had been alerted to the crimes much earlier, many children could have been saved. That’s not always the case, says Singer.
Speaking exclusively with The Daily Caller, Singer said that most of the same Pennsylvania government agencies that were outraged over the PSU scandal — Child Protective Services, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police — all ignored and buried his report of child molestation.
In 1986, Singer was working as a psychologist at the Dubois Regional Medical Center in Dubois, Pa. During a session with a female teenage patient, Singer said the patient revealed to him that she was being sexually abused by her father. Upon having two more medical professionals confirm this, Singer said that he reported the abuse to the state’s Child Protective Services agency.
TheDC has exclusively acquired a letter from one of the two medical professionals, Dr. Albert Varacallo, vouching for the veracity of Singer’s claims.
“If all this seems hard to believe,” Varacallo wrote to then-Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, Sr. in 1991, “I agree with you … the events of the past three years have proven to me that this nightmare is indeed a reality and not just Mr. Singer’s imagination from the stand point of any health professional, once he knew all the facts.”
“While the state is supposed to provide immunity for reporters,” Varacallo wrote, “it actually prosecutes those who seek to protect the rights of children.”
This is purely conjecture, but what I think happened, after the alleged abuser was informed of Dr. Singer’s report and given his identity, is that he turned to someone pretty high up in government who either put pressure on various agencies or arranged for false reports to be generated and acted upon.
While I feel badly for Dr. Singer, I feel worse for the children who may not have had their cases reported, as the law requires, because the health practitioner knew what happened to Singer and did not want to be similarly treated by the state agencies.
It’s been twenty-six years since Singer filed that report. How many children have suffered horrendous abuse because nobody would do anything to save them?
If I had my way, a very lot of people back then and now, would spend a lot of time in prison for dereliction of duty and abuse of authority.
But then, I’m not a Pennsylvania child welfare bureaucrat or worker. What do I know?
Is anyone more familiar with this case or similar cases elsewhere?