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Entries in Child Molestation (34)

Monday
Dec122011

Emboldened by Penn State Case, Two Men Allege Abuse by AAU Head

ABC News(MEMPHIS) -- The Amateur Athletic Union has permanently removed Robert "Bobby" Dodd from the president's post after two men accused him of sexually abusing them when they were teens, an AAU spokesman told ABC News.

The Memphis Police Department began probing the allegations against Dodd on Friday, one day after the AAU, one of the largest sports organizations in the country, informed them of accusations from Ralph West, 43, of Miami, and an unnamed accuser, AAU spokesman Ralph Sachs said.

"AAU is facing up to, straight up to, these serious allegations," Sachs said.  "[The AAU] has been forthright and candid.  The interim president, staff, the volunteers are schocked and deeply concerned.  All their action has been taken to protect the integrity of the organization but, particularly, the safety of the children."

The two detailed the alleged abuse when they were Memphis schoolboys in an exclusive ESPN interview on Friday.  The AAU also gave police the name of a third man who may have allegations against Dodd, Sachs said.

On ESPN, West cited an assault that he alleges took place in 1983 when he was 15 and on an AAU basketball team trip to Florida, as well as other incidents.

"I was dead asleep, and I don't remember anything but waking up and he's trying to put his hand in my boxer shorts," West said, referring to Dodd, then a coach.

Dodd, 63, told the AAU he was slated to have surgery for colon cancer after its board of directors convened a special meeting with him on Nov. 14 at the AAU's Lake Buena Vista, Fla., offices, Sachs said.

"He completely denied the allegations.  Repeatedly," Sachs said.  "He has not returned to this office since, nor will he."

West said that he and the other man were inspired to go public last month about the decades-old alleged abuse after former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sex crimes against boys.

The second accuser, whose identity ESPN didn't reveal, said Dodd gave alcohol to minors and, during one such occasion at his house, spiked the accuser's drink with some sort of tranquilizer.

"The last thing I can really remember was him carrying me into his bedroom and...touching me in ways I didn't want another man touching me," said the accuser, whose face and voice were obscured for ESPN's broadcast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Jerry Sandusky Under Arrest; Lawyer Working to Post $250K Bail

Centre County Correctional Facility via Getty Images(BELLAFONTE, Pa.) -- Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and jailed on Wednesday in the wake of new sexual assault charges filed against him by a grand jury.

Sandusky was handcuffed and taken out of his home by state police and brought to an arraignment before a judge in Centre County, Pa., for the new charges, which include assaulting two boys involved in his Second Mile charity.

Sandusky was taken to Centre County Correctional Facility for processing and will remain there until bail is posted.  His attorney, Joe Amendola, said he is getting paperwork together to try and post bail by Thursday morning.  Bail was set at $250,000, cash, although the prosecutor had asked for $1 million.  If bail is posted, Sandusky is not permitted to step onto Penn State property and will be monitored electronically.

Amendola told ABC News that he had no knowledge of the charges ahead of the arrest.

"I'm very disappointed that I didn't even get a courtesy call that new charges had been filed.  I had to find out from the media," Amendola said.

The new alleged victims came forward in the wake of the earlier allegations against Sandusky, including 40 counts of child molestation, for which he was charged on Nov. 5.

According to the state attorney general, both men met Sandusky through the Second Mile charity, were plied with trips to football games, and were abused by Sandusky in his home.

One of the accusers, now 19 and identified as Victim 9, met Sandusky at a Second Mile swimming event when the boy was 11 or 12, according to new information in the grand jury presentment.  Sandusky asked for his phone number, which he then used to ask the boy's mother if he could spend more time with the boy, and then proceeded to pick the boy up from school and take him to Sandusky's home for sleepovers.

At the Sandusky home, the boy said he was forced to stay in the basement at all times, and was even brought his meals there by Sandusky and told not to leave.  Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulted the boy in the basement bedroom numerous times, including forcible rape.  The man also testified that Sandusky would take him to a hotel in State College and assault him in the pool and jacuzzi there.

The other victim identified in the new allegations, now in his mid-20s, says Sandusky met him through the Second Mile when he was 10 and invited him to his home for a Penn State football game.  Sandusky then started a pattern of abuse that included wrestling with the boy and then pulling his pants off and performing oral sex on him, according to the testimony.

The man said Sandusky also groped him in the campus swimming pool before playfully throwing him above water.

The new charges against Sandusky include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, and corruption of minors.  They will be included in an already-scheduled preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec052011

All Eight of Jerry Sandusky's Alleged Victims to Testify Against Him

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(CENTRE COUNTY, Pa.) -- All eight of the boys allegedly sexually abused by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky will testify against him when preliminary hearings in the case begin next week, according to people close to the case.

News that all eight victims will testify against Sandusky is a blow to his defense. Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola had previously told ABC News that at least one of the boys had denied that he was abused.

Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. A key allegation against the 67-year-old former coach was that he was seen raping a boy about the age of 10 in the showers in 2002.

The grand jury report said the identity of the boy, called Victim 2, was not known, but Amendola told ABC News that he believed they knew who the boy was and talked to him.

"The kid is...now grown up, he's in his 20s. He's adamant that nothing sexual occurred," Amendola said last month.

The lawyer said that at the time of the accusation Sandusky provided the boy's name to Penn State after he was confronted with the accusation.

Amendola said he expected others might also come forward in Sandusky's defense.

Sources told ABC News, however, that all eight boys in the grand jury presentment intend to take the stand against Sandusky when the hearing begins Dec. 13. The hearing in Centre County, Pa., is expected to last several days.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Victims Group Demands Ouster of Syracuse Head Basketball Coach

Nate Shron/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- With his longtime assistant gone, is Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim's job safe?

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says it's time Syracuse University also cut ties with Boeheim for first denigrating two men who charged Bernie Fine with sexually abusing them as youngsters.

Fine was fired Sunday after a third man came forward to allege that he too was molested by the 65-year-old coach.  The firing also followed a broadcast on ESPN of a taped phone conversation between Fine's wife, Laurie, and accuser Bobby Davis in 2002 in which she acknowledged her husband had likely molested Davis when he served as the team's ball boy.

When the story about Fine broke two weeks ago, Boeheim defended Fine and accused Davis and his relative, Mike Lang, of trying to cash in on the scandal that he said was perpetuated by sex abuse charges filed against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

On Sunday, Boeheim changed his tune, saying, "I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse."

However, David Clohessy, the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Boeheim's apology won't undo the harm he's caused and demanded that Syracuse fire the coach.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Jerry Sandusky's Charity Now Refusing Contributions

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Since former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged earlier this month with 40 counts of molesting at least eight boys over a 15-year period, the charity he co-founded has come under heavy scrutiny, especially since reports have said the former assistant football coach met many of his victims through it.

With hopes of staying a viable charity on the ropes, The Second Mile is asking that contributions now be made to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

That doesn't mean at-risk children will be totally abandoned -- The Second Mile will continue its programs through the end of the month while its board decides whether to restructure the charity or just end operations.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the alleged victims are trying to keep The Second Mile from unloading its assets in the event they come after the charity with expected lawsuits seeking damages.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov282011

Syracuse Fires Assistant Coach Bernie Fine Amid Abuse Allegations

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University announced Sunday evening it has fired assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine, who has been accused by three men of sexually molesting them when they were boys.

"At the direction of Chancellor [Nancy] Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," university spokesman Kevin Quinn announced.

Fine, 65, had been an assistant coach at Syracuse for 36 years, the longest active streak at one school among Division I assistant coaches.  He has called the allegations "patently false."

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said Sunday night he supported the university's decision to fire the man who has been his assistant for 35 years.

"The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling," the Hall of Fame coach said in a statement released Sunday evening.  "I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged.  I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight."

He said the allegations should "be fully investigated."

Boeheim, who had called one of the accusers "a liar" for suggesting he knew that his long-time assistant was allegedly abusing young boys, apologized for that "insensitive" remark and said that anyone with information should "be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found."

"I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse," he said.

The firing comes the same day that ESPN released tapes of one of Fine's accusers discussing what happened with the assistant coach's wife.

Bobby Davis was a seventh grader helping out around the Syracuse basketball court when he claims the abuse began.  Now 39, he says he made a recording in October 2002 of a phone call with Fine's wife, Laurie.  He says he did so so his allegations of molestation against Bernie Fine would be taken seriously.

"I know everything that went on, you know.  I know everything that went on with him," the woman identified as Laurie Fine tells Davis.  "Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues...And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted."

Davis gave a copy of the tape to ESPN and recently to police.  ESPN says a voice expert confirms the woman's voice on the audiotape matches Laurie Fine's.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov182011

Former Ball Boy Accuses Syracuse Basketball Coach of Molesting Him

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) -- Syracuse University's longtime assistant men's basketball coach Bernie Fine is under investigation for allegedly molesting a ball boy for at least 12 years.

ESPN reported Thursday that 39-year-old Bobby Davis is claiming that Fine began abusing him in 1983 -- a year before he started his six-year tenure as the team's ball boy.

Davis, who alleged that the abuse continued into the 1990s, says that Fine molested him at his home, at the university's facilities and on road trips.

Fine has been put on administrative leave while Syracuse Police investigate the allegations.  He is been at Syracuse University for 35 years.

According to ESPN, Davis did not tell head basketball coach Jim Boeheim about what he alleges Fine did to him, even though he says Boeheim saw the two of them together often.

Boeheim later issued a statement that said, ‘I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years.  I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would have been involved in any of the activities alleged.  Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action.  Bernie has my full support.”

Meanwhile, Syracuse University issued a statement that it conducted an investigation of Davis' claims in 2005 and found no one who could corroborate his allegations.  ESPN said it also investigated Davis' allegations in 2003 but decided against airing the story, also citing no independent corroboration of his story.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Did Penn State Ignore Other Sexual Abuse Claims?

Paul McLaughlin, who is now in his mid-40s, told ABC News that now-retired Penn State professor John "Jack" Neisworth sexually abused him in the late 1970s to early '80s when he was between the ages of 11 and 15. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- A new alleged victim is claiming that a member of the Penn State faculty sexually abused him years ago, and he said when he brought his abuse complaints to university officials, he was turned away.

Paul McLaughlin, who is now in his mid-40s, told ABC News that now-retired Penn State professor John "Jack" Neisworth, who is a nationally acclaimed voice on child development, sexually abused him in the late 1970s to early '80s when he was between the ages of 11 and 15.

McLaughlin said that after repressing the memories of his alleged abuse, he decided to confront Neisworth over the phone in 2001 as part of his therapy. He tape-recorded the conversation, in which he claims that the professor admitted to performing oral sex on him.

"I was in the process of trying to get him to open up about some of the sexual acts and what not, and he actually interrupted me and says, 'Do you remember driving up on the hill?'" McLaughlin said. "I said, 'Wasn't that the first time you went down on me?' He said, 'I don't know if it was the first time but it was certainly fierce,' was his words."

Over the course of a few months from the end of 2001 into early 2002, McLaughlin said he sent his taped conversation with Neisworth to university officials, but each time he was "rejected."

"They didn't want copies of the tape-recorded conversation. They didn't want to hear it, period," he said. "It was extremely emotional for me to have to make these calls to begin with, but then to be rejected the way I was and basically treated as if I had done something wrong in making those calls."

McLaughlin said he spoke with one Penn State official on the phone at the time who refused to even investigate his claim.

"They said, don't bother sending it, we're not interested in fabrications, stories, any attempts at extortion or blackmail. I mean, they made it seem like I was looking for something for myself," McLaughlin said. "I didn't ask them for money. I didn't ask them for anything other than make sure they look into this. Listen to the tape and get this guy away from children."

McLaughlin said he also spoke with former Penn State president Graham Spanier on the phone within two weeks of allegations being made about former defensive football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing young boys. Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno were fired last week in the wake of the accusations, which were first reported on Nov. 5. McLaughlin said he was met with the same "hostility" that he had received from other university officials.

"[Spanier] told me that as far as he was concerned it was hearsay, '[Neisworth] has an impeccable record. He has never been accused of anything,'" McLaughlin said. "They were more interested in protecting the school. They didn't seem to have any interest in protecting children at all."

Neisworth was later charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse in Cecil County, Md., in 2005. However, McLaughlin claimed that at the time, Penn State officials said an indictment wasn't enough to investigate one of their faculty members.

"They again continued to support him and say was basically an outstanding professor and that there was not, unless there was a conviction, there was no need to do an investigation of him," McLaughlin said.

The charges against Neisworth were later dismissed because there wasn't enough evidence to convict him. Repeated calls to him and Spanier for comment were not immediately returned. Penn State University officials declined to comment on McLaughlin's claims.

Neisworth has been nationally recognized for his work with autistic children, and even penned the acclaimed book The Autism Encyclopedia.

McLaughlin later sued the professor but settled with him out of court for an undisclosed sum in March 2006. Neisworth denied all wrongdoing.

McLaughlin added that he did not pursue any further legal action with the professor or the university because the statute of limitations on the alleged crime had expired.

McLaughlin has now become an advocate for child abuse victims, and spoke on behalf of the National Center for Victims of Crime at a rally in front of the Pennsylvania state legislature Tuesday to demand action on bills that will strengthen the state's child sex abuse laws.

"They need to make it mandatory for any adult that knows that abuse is being committed against a child to report to law enforcement, not to an administration that is more interested in covering their financial assets than they are protecting children," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Jerry Sandusky Denies Child Sex Charges, Says He 'Horsed Around with Kids'

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General(NEW YORK) -- Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has broken his silence on the charges of child molestation against him, insisting in a telephone interview with sports reporter Bob Costas on NBC Monday night that he isn't a pedophile and was just "horsing around" with boys.

"Am I sexually attracted to underage boys…sexually attracted?" Sandusky asked when questioned directly.  "You know...no I enjoy young people I...I love to be around them.  Umm I, no...I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

Sandusky hesitated when asked by Costas about the numerous eyewitness accounts of his alleged sexual assaults on adolescents.

"Well I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things," Sandusky said when asked by Costas if he is completely innocent and falsely accused in every aspect.

"I have horsed around with kids.  I -- I have showered after workouts.  I have hugged them and I have touched their leg.  Without intent of sexual contact," Sandusky said.

The charges that Sandusky sexually abused eight boys over 15 years have rocked the university and led to the firing of the college president and iconic football coach Joe Paterno.  Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5 and charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys. He is free on $100,000 bail.

The 67-year-old retired coach founded the charity The Second Mile for at-risk youth, and some are now saying the non-profit functioned as a recruiting ground for his predatory actions.  Speaking with Costas, Sandusky said that he isn't sexually attracted to young boys. When he was asked about an incident where two janitors said they witnessed him performing a sex act on a boy in the showers, the former coach denied it.  He then dismissed Costas' question as to what their motivation to fabricate such a lie would be, saying, "you'd have to ask them."

This reaction to such a line of questioning may be a legal strategy casting Sandusky as a fun-loving sportsman who liked to play around in the locker room with boys, but not in a sexual manner.  This position was repeated by Sandusky's attorney Joseph Amendola on CNN Monday night.

"Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid.  He's a jock," Amendola said.  "For anybody who's ever played sports, you get showers after you work out.  I mean when people hear he got showers with kids -- oh my goodness you know like...he got showers with kids...that makes him guilty right?"

But then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary told prosecutors that in 2002 he walked in the football locker room after-hours and allegedly saw a 10-year-old-boy with his hands up against the wall, being raped in the shower by Sandusky.

In his interview with Costas, Sandusky brushed off McQueary's account as just horseplay between the child and him.

"Ok, we were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all of the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor," Sandusky said.  "And umm...we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel, and horseplay."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov072011

Ex-Penn State Coach Won't Speak on Child Sex Abuse Charges

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky refused to answer questions on Sunday about charges he molested eight boys over a 15-year period, telling ABC News his lawyers told him not to discuss the allegations.

"The situation is in the courts and I'm not to make any comments," Sandusky said outside his home in State College, Pa.

When ABC News asked again if he wanted to say that the charges against him were false, Sandusky again only said he could not say anything.

"Unfortunately, unfortunately, I'm not in the position to make any statements," he said.

Sandusky, who is a Penn State gridiron legend, having been a player and a long-time assistant coach for the Nittany Lions, will now be barred from campus, the university announced on Sunday.

Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz are both being charged with perjury for allegedly not alerting police when they learned that Sandusky had allegedly sexually abused a young boy in a locker room shower in 2002.  The school said on Sunday it would foot the legal bill for them.

But state prosecutors say the university failed to follow up on the allegations or to notify police.

"There is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand," Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said.

Sandusky, 67, who retired in 1999, continued to use the team's practice facilities to work with underprivileged boys through a foundation he started called Second Mile.  The retired coach would use expensive gifts and trips to maintain contact with his victims, who were as young as 10 years old when the alleged abuse began, according to the investigation.

Sandusky allegedly even used his volunteer coaching job at a Pennsylvania high school, from which he was barred in 2009, to continue preying on a victim he had been abusing for years, the grand jury report said.  He would call the boy out of class for unsupervised meetings during the day, according to school officials.  A wrestling coach also testified to the grand jury that he encountered the victim and Sandusky lying face to face in a secluded weight room one evening.

The boy's mother reported her suspicions to the school and police were alerted.  Thus began a two-year investigation that led to Sandusky's arrest Saturday on 40 counts that even if found guilty on one, could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Sandusky is free on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing on Nov. 9.

Curley and Schultz, who both stepped down from their posts late Sunday, are scheduled to surrender on Nov. 7.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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