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Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children Decades Ago, Sportswriter Retires

Bill Conlin, a Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter for 46 years and this year's winner of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing," retired Tuesday after three women and a man came forward to accuse him of molesting them in the 1970s when they were between the ages of 7 and 12.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, which is owned by the same company as the Daily News, reports that:

"Through his lawyer, George Bochetto, Conlin declined to comment.

" 'Mr. Conlin is obviously floored by these accusations, which supposedly happened 40 years ago,' Bochetto said. 'He has engaged me to do everything possible to bring the facts forward to vindicate his name.' "

He won't face criminal charges because the alleged offenses occurred too long ago, authorities say. Investigators videotaped statements from the accusers last year. The Associated Press writes that the Inquirer:

"Reported that the four accusers claim Conlin groped and fondled them in the 1970s, when they were ages 7 to 12.

"Kelley Blanchet, a niece of Conlin's who is now a prosecutor in Atlantic City, N.J., and others told the newspaper they were speaking out in part because of the child sex abuse allegations being faced by Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State University assistant football coach. Like in the Sandusky case, people aware of the allegations involving Conlin years ago did not go to police, the newspaper said."

Along with the Penn State scandal, the sports world has also been rocked by accusations that Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine (who has since been dismissed) abused at least two young boys in the mid-1980s.

Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant coach, faces dozens of criminal charges related to the alleged abuse of at least 10 boys over more than a decade. He says he's innocent. Fine has not been charged with any crime.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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