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Conlin accused by 7th alleged victim

Image: Hall of Fame baseball writer and author Bill Conlin (Mike Groll/AP Images)
Bill Conlin, speaking in 2011 at the Spink Award ceremony, was a Hall of Famer.
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Another woman came forward Friday to accuse Hall of Fame baseball writer Bill Conlin of sexually abusing her when she was a child, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, claimed Conlin abused her on two occasions during the 1960s when she was aged 11.

The latest accuser is the third person to come forward since Tuesday when The Inquirer first published a report detailing the alleged abuse of three women and one man, who claimed the long-time columnist molested them during the 1970s when they were aged between seven and 12.

The newest alleged victim, now 59, claimed Conlin, a family friend, assaulted her during trips to Margate, N.J. where her family had a beach home.

The now mother-of-two said she decided to break her decades-long silence in light of the courage of the other victims.

"When I read it, I started to cry," she told the paper. "I just felt overwhelmed. The fact that I wasn't the only one made me feel stronger."

The 77-year-old Conlin, a fixture in the Philadelphia sports scene for nearly 50 years, retired abruptly Tuesday from the Philadelphia Daily News, where he worked since 1965.

He has declined to comment publicly on the allegations, denying them through his attorney.

Prosecutors in New Jersey, where the alleged abuses occurred, said no criminal charges would be filed against Conlin because the statute of limitations had passed.

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

Slade McLaughlin, a lawyer for three of the female accusers, told WTXF-TV he thought his clients did the right thing by going public and said he believed they were telling the truth.

"They are extremely believable . . . nothing about anything any of these women told me sounded at all like it was feigned, or made up, or twisted," he said.

He added that there would be no lawsuits as his clients were not interested in money.

Conlin served as the Phillies beat writer from 1966 to 1987, before becoming a columnist. He also appeared frequently on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters."

On Wednesday, the sports website Deadspin published an email exchange in which Conlin expressed his concern about the impending story to editor A.J. Daulerio. Conlin contacted Deadspin Monday night after learning The Inquirer was likely going to publish a story about the allegations.

He referred to his accusers as "late middle-aged women" who had decided it was "Sandusky time," referring to former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with child sexual abuse.

"They can toss my good name out there while alleging a crime that was never charged?" Conlin wrote in an email. "(Bleep) that."

Daulerio asked whether Conlin wished to make comments in his defense for a story to run on Deadspin, but Conlin declined, saying he preferred to wait for the story to be published to see whether the accusers were identified.

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