Nearly two full weeks after the Penn State sex abuse story hit the mainstream media, the scope of the scandal continues to grow. And it's growing not only in terms of number of victims, but in potential duration. The Patriot-News is reporting that the timeline of alleged abuse, which originally went back to the 1990s, may go back much farther than that.
Sara Ganim and the staff at The Patriot-News have been leaders in reporting on the scandal, and Thursday morning brought another startling story from the paper. After watching former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky profess his innocence in a televised interview with NBC's Bob Costas, "several potential victims" contacted lawyers to tell their alleged stories of abuse.
And one of them, the Patriot-News reports, claims the abuse dates back to the 1970s, when Sandusky founded his Second Mile charity in Pennsylvania.
"They're literally processing it right in front of us," lawyer Andy Shubin told Ganim. "They have kept it from their families, moms, brothers and sisters ... The folks we talked to are largely folks in their 20s, who in a lot of cases have never told their story before."
Authorities have not disclosed how many additional people have come forward with stories of abuse. The number of victims listed in the grand jury report is eight. Reports of larger numbers have to this point been unconfirmed or denied.
But if true, this report of potential abuse as far back as the '70s would lend credence to the prosecutors' view that Sandusky's charity was used to find and groom children for molestation.
And, if indeed there were victims back in the 1970's, that would cover the greater part of Sandusky's coaching career at Penn State, which began in 1969. Sandusky is credited with helping Penn State and head coach Joe Paterno become known for great defenses.
Paterno took over as head coach at Penn State in 1966. He was fired last week.
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