Two more victims have come forward to accuse former Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin of molesting them when they were children in the 1970s.
Linda Stella is the sixth person to come forward and accuse the Hall of Fame baseball writer of sexually molesting her. Stella told the Philadelphia Daily News, the former employer of Conlin, that he pulled her onto his lap when she was a child and began flexing his leg muscles. She said that when she got off of his lap she noticed a wet spot on his pants and was confused.
I was a kid, I didn't know what it really was, Stella told the Daily News. It looked like he had peed in his pants.
After the initial rubbing on his lap, Stella alleges that Conlin later brought her upstairs to a bedroom and fondled her breasts and genitals. She says that she never told her parents of the allegations because she was afraid they wouldn't believe them.
It wasn't until two years ago that she told her finance, Joe Kennard, about the horrible molestations. Kennard told the Daily News that he left three voicemails for Conlin about the allegations, but that the famous sports writer never got back to him.
I just thought it was despicable, Kennard said. It was something that really bothered me. . . . I wanted to put the fear of God in him.
I would have told him that I'm going to tell everyone about this. I want to tell the paper about it.
These allegations came after The Philadelphia Inquirer published a lengthy piece of child molestation allegations that led to Conlin's hasty resignation from the Daily News.
The initial allegations came from three women, including one of his nieces, and a man that went to authorities on the crimes, but were unable to pursue charges because the statute of limitations had passed.
The primary person pursuing the allegations is Kelley Blanchet, his niece and an Atlantic City prosecutor. Blanchet has alleged that Conlin put his hand between her legs, touched her genitals, and penetrated her with his fingers when she was only seven-years old.
Conlin has denied the charges through his lawyer George Bochetto, as well as to popular sports blog Deadspin. Before the initial allegations were published in the Inquirer, Conlin told Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio that it could be a result of a decades-long family feud.
He laid out for me a muddled timeline involving his niece (one of his accusers) and a decades-old family vendetta that, Conlin believed, had precipitated the story, Daulerio wrote.
The initial accusers have lawyered up with Philadelphia-based attorney Slade McLaughlin, but the attorney claims that the accusers are not interested in filing a lawsuit or profiting from the allegations.
Within the first minutes of our meeting, they said, 'We do not want to file a lawsuit, we do not want to profit in any way and we don't want publicity, McLaughlin, who is also representing a victim in the Penn State scandal, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. We don't want to go on the cable shows. We want to return to our lives. This in my mind gives them more credibility.
After resigning from the Daily News, Conlin has gone into hiding at his Largo, Fla. condo. Although he faces shame for the alleged child molestations, it appears that he won't face any criminal or financial harm, if McLaughlin is to be believed.
Conlin, who was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award this summer, is yet another sports figure to be accused of sexually molesting young children within the past few months. Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with over 40 counts of sexual abuse of children; former Syracuse coach Bernie Fine has been accused by four different men of sexual abuse; and the CEO of the Amateur Athletic Union was recently accused of sexual abuse.