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Penn State scandal: NY charity says child stayed with Sandusky

The Fresh Air Fund, in New York, says at least one child stayed in former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky's home. Sandusky also met children through The Second Mile, a nonprofit for disadvantaged youth, which he founded.

By Edith Honan and Kristina CookeReuters / November 15, 2011

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky is placed in a police car in Bellefonte, Pa. on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight young men.

AP Photo/Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Commonwealth Media Services

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State College, Penn.

At least one child from the New York City area stayed at the home of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been accused of pedophilia, during the 1990s, a spokeswoman for the Fresh Air Fund said on Tuesday.

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The charity is still reviewing its files and believes several other children may have stayed with Sandusky, Andrea Kotuk, spokeswoman for the group, told Reuters.

News reports from about a decade ago mentioned that Sandusky and his wife served as volunteer hosts for the Fresh Air Fund, which sends poor New York City children to camps and host families in the United States and Canada.

IN PICTURES: Fallout from the Penn State scandal

"Based on our initial review of the files, we have determined that the Sandusky family was a Fresh Air Fund host," Kotuk said.

"We have confirmed that one Fresh Air Fund child stayed at the Sandusky home during the mid-1990s, and shared that information with the Pennsylvania authorities."

Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, was charged on November 5 with sexually abusing eight young boys over more than a decade. Prosecutors said he met all his alleged victims through The Second Mile, a nonprofit program for disadvantaged youth he founded in 1977. Several investigations are underway.

Sandusky has denied the charges. In an interview yesterday, Sandusky admitted to touching and showering with boys, but said he was not a pedophile.

Kotuk said the Fresh Air Fund is still reviewing its files. "As of today, we believe that several children may have stayed in the Sandusky home in the 1970s," she said.

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office was not immediately available for comment. The New York attorney general's office so far has declined comment.

(Writing by Ros Krasny; editing by Philip Barbara)

IN PICTURES: Fallout from the Penn State scandal