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6th person alleges sportswriter abused her

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A 50-year-old woman who says Philadelphia sports writer Bill Conlin sexually abused her as a child is the sixth accuser to step forward.

Linda Stella, who was friends with Conlin's daughter at the time, alleges Conlin, 77, abused her several times beginning when she was 7 years old and continuing until she was 9. She said he once ejaculated in his pants while she was sitting on his lap, and twice pulled her into his bedroom where he fondled her breasts and genitals, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that three women, including a niece of Conlin's, and a man had alleged he abused them as children in the 1970s. The Inquirer followed up with a story Wednesday that another woman had come forward with similar accusations.

As the story broke, Conlin retired from the Daily News, where he had been an award-winning sports columnist. An attorney for Conlin has said the sportswriter was "floored" by the accusations and would seek vindication.

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Stella told the Daily News she never told her parents about the alleged attacks because she feared she wouldn't be believed. She said she told her fiance two year ago.

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The Inquirer reported the fifth alleged victim, now a 44-year-old mother of three, said Wednesday she was about 7 and was a friend of Conlin's son, Peter, when she was molested by Conlin.

The Inquirer said that alleged victim came forward as the Web site Deadspin ran an e-mail exchange between Conlin and one of its reporters in which Conlin said he expected the accusations to be made public by the Inquirer. In an e-mail, Conlin aid the accusers were "late middle-aged women" who decided it was "Sandusky time," referring to former Penn State assistant football Coach Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually abusing boys.

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"I'm a lot bigger to the Daily News than Sandusky ever was to Penn State," he wrote, while indicating he feared his name would be tarnished.

"They can toss my good name out there while alleging a crime that was never charged?" Conlin wrote. "F- that."

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