STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Several more people have told a private attorney they were abused as children by former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Sandusky, 67, was charged earlier this month with molesting eight young boys over a 15-year period. Several more alleged victims came forward after hearing Sandusky interviewed on an NBC news program that aired on Tuesday night, according to the Patriot-News newspaper, citing attorneys in State College.
His indictment has triggered a crisis at the prestigious university. Two other former officials have been charged in the case, and last week Penn State’s revered football coach Joe Paterno and its president were fired.
“The folks we talked to are largely folks in their 20s, who in a lot of cases have never told their story before,” attorney Andy Shubin told the Patriot-News of the new abuse claims.
One case went back to the 1970s. Sandusky founded The Second Mile, the charity through which he is alleged to have met his victims, in 1977.
Legal experts were dumbfounded that Sandusky’s lawyer had let him be interviewed. His comments, such as his admission that he had showered with boys, could be cited at trial.
Attorney Joe Amendola defended the decision, telling television station WJAC in Johnstown that is was beneficial for many people to hear Sandusky say he did not commit the crimes.
Amendola added that the showers which Sandusky has admitted to sharing with boys “are large shower rooms. They’re not the showers you have at home....”
Meanwhile, the Penn State Nittany Lions team are preparing for their second game since the football program was thrown into turmoil, against Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday.
Interim head coach Tom Bradley said this week that he had been contacted by Luke Fickell, his Ohio State counterpart, and “assured there will be no problems” for his team.
Behind the scenes, what is left of Penn State’s football infrastructure is attempting to retain the 15 recruits who verbally committed to be freshmen in 2012.
Writing by Ros Krasny; Editing by Cynthia Osterman