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Penn State holds child abuse prevention conference

Still picking up the pieces after the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal, Penn State will hold a three-day conference on preventing child abuse. Notable participants will include Elizabeth Smart and Sugar Ray Leonard.

By Mark ShadeReuters / October 27, 2012

Elizabeth Smart talks with reporters during a news conference before a public speaking event Oct. 9, at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury, Pa. Beginning this weekend, Smart will take part in a three-day conference on preventing child abuse, hosted by Penn State.

Larry Deklinski/AP

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State College, Pa.

Pennsylvania State University, which was shaken by a molestation scandal that put former coach Jerry Sandusky in prison and tarnished its famed football program, holds a three-day conference starting this weekend aimed at preventing child abuse.

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The conference features child sex abuse survivors Sugar Ray Leonard, a former world boxing champion, and Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted in 2002 and held captive for nine months.

Starting on Sunday, it comes just weeks after Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for molesting 10 boys over more than a decade.

An independent commission by former FBI chief Louis Freeh concluded that university officials were alerted to Sandusky's abuse, did nothing to stop it and decided against reporting it to authorities.

In a rebuke to the school's failure to stop Sandusky's abuse, the NCAA, the governing body of U.S. college sports, fined Penn State $60 million and voided 14 seasons of football victories.

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