Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Legendary Philadelphia sportswriter and Pinellas resident Bill Conlin accused of child sex abuse

Bill Conlin, a Largo resident, retired after four people said he abused them as children.

Associated Press

Bill Conlin, a Largo resident, retired after four people said he abused them as children.

LARGO — Longtime Philadelphia sports columnist, ESPN commentator and Largo resident Bill Conlin declined to comment Tuesday about a Philadelphia Inquirer story reporting that four people have accused him of sexually abusing them during the 1970s when they were children.

According to the Inquirer, the three women and one man say Conlin groped and fondled them, and that people who knew about it, including family members, never called police and kept the abuse secret.

According to the newspaper, Conlin, 77, retired Tuesday from his job at the Inquirer's sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, where he had worked for more than 40 years.

As sports radio and TV buzzed with the news, Conlin came to the door of his Shipwatch condominium near Largo Tuesday afternoon and said he had nothing to say. He gave a reporter the phone number of his attorney.

Philadelphia attorney George Bochetto told the St. Petersburg Times, "Mr. Conlin is obviously floored by these accusations. They supposedly happened more than 40 years ago."

Bochetto said Conlin "has engaged me to do everything possible to bring the facts forward to vindicate his name."

Conlin is well known in Pinellas County, where he has lived off and on for years while covering Philadelphia Phillies spring training games in Clearwater. A Hall of Fame baseball writer, Conlin was the primary Phillies writer for the Philadelphia paper for many years before becoming a columnist.

One of Conlin's neighbors in the Shipwatch condos, Michael Hannin, 73, said his neighbor is an intelligent man and did a great job of taking care of his wife after she had a stroke a few years ago.

"I would be shocked if any of that was true," Hannin said of the allegations.

One of Conlin's accusers is reportedly his niece. She and the other accusers told the Inquirer that the reports of alleged sexual assaults and a cover-up at Penn State prompted them to tell their story publicly. The lengthy Inquirer story contains graphic descriptions of the alleged abuse.

The accusers told the newspaper they also wanted to demonstrate the problems with the statute of limitations for sexual assaults. The Inquirer reported that local prosecutors cannot charge Conlin because the statute of limitations ran out.

Conlin won this year's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing," voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The BBWAA said the accusations would not affect his award.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Will Hobson can be reached at whobson@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4167.

Legendary Philadelphia sportswriter and Pinellas resident Bill Conlin accused of child sex abuse 12/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.