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Victim advocate not surprised by report of more Sandusky victims - abc27 WHTM

Victim advocate not surprised by report of more Sandusky victims

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Jerry Sandusky Jerry Sandusky
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Patriot-News reported Monday that three men have come forward and told police they were abused by Jerry Sandusky in the 1970's and 1980's. They are the first people to claim abuse at the hands of Sandusky before the 1990's.

Kristen Houser of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape had warned that there may have been many more victims than those who testified at Sandusky's trial. She said most sex offenders begin their behavior in adolescence, meaning that Sandusky could have assaulted people over 50 years, which could produce an astonishing total number of victims.

"I think the number could easily be in the hundreds," Houser said. "What we know, when we look at research on incarcerated sex offenders, is that the average age of incarceration is somewhere in the mid 30's and at that point, what is pretty normal is seeing between 100 and 200 victims."

Houser said it's not likely that financial incentives are motivating more accusers to come forward.

"The statute of limitations for civil lawsuits has expired for these men, so coming forward is not about financial gain," she said.

She said each survivor needs to think about what they would risk and what they would gain by coming forward.

"They may just be people feeling like it's validating to finally be able to know that you're going to be believed and it's an important part of the healing process," Houser said.

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