Penn State sex abuse scandal has a snowball effect across the country

Woodlawn, MD - More allegations of sex abuse now center around Memphis, TN, and the former Amateur Athletic Union president Robert Dodd.  Ralph West says he was 15 when his Memphis basketball team was on a youth league trip in 1983 and Dodd came into his hotel room and sexually assaulted him.

"I was dead asleep and I don't remember anything but waking up and he has his, he's trying to put his hand in my boxer shorts.  And I jumped up straight out of the bed and he's not there but he's laying on the floor next to me down by the bed," said West. 

Two accusers first told ESPN that the publicity from Penn State and Syracuse universities and The Citadel prompted them to act.

"I'm not at all surprised because every time something like this happens, it causes people to relive their trauma through the trauma of other people," said Patricia Thompson, assistant executive director, Family and Children Services of Central Maryland.  "It's like a sore that has a thick crust on it and every time something like this happens it opens that wound up again." 

West kept his secret for nearly three decades.  Thompson thinks the stories will continue to unfold as more and more victims find their voice.

"I believe it's the bravery and the courage of people who do make a decision to come forth that gives other people the courage to do the same and realize it's not too late," said Thompson.     

Dodd, 63, denied the allegations when confronted by AAU officials.  He left the organization in November and now police are investigating.

Thompson believes the victims may finally understand how the abuse has impacted their lives.

"It doesn't always come out in a verbal way, but it comes out in your behaviors, it comes out in your feelings," she said.   

We put a call into the local chapter of the Amateur Athletic Union to see if any changes would come following the case in Tennessee but haven't heard back. 

Nationally, the interim president is urging anyone who knows of abuse to contact law enforcement.

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