Pa. welfare officials see spike in abuse reports

In this photo provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, center, walks to the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot while being escorted by Pennsylvania State Police and Attorney General's Office officials on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services)

November 22, 2011 5:45:02 PM PST
Pennsylvania child welfare officials say they've received more than twice the usual number of suspected child abuse reports in the wake of sex abuse charges against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The state Department of Public Welfare tells The Altoona Mirror it received 4,800 reports of suspected abuse in the week following Nov. 5, when Sandusky was charged. Spokeswoman Carey Miller says the department usually gets about 2,300 reports per week.

Miller says the publicity surrounding Sandusky's case is "making people more alert."

The Mirror report says some of the calls are from people saying they were abused in the past. The claims are being referred to law enforcement.

Callers reporting suspected current abuse are being referred to the child protective agencies in their counties.

Sandusky maintains his innocence.


Information from: Altoona Mirror,