By Dave Warner
(Reuters) - There may be more accusers than originally thought in the Penn State University scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, currently charged with sexually abusing 10 boys, according to court filings.
Sandusky attorney Joseph Amendola in legal papers filed on Thursday in Common Pleas Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, made a reference to "accusers 11 through 17 as well as 18 through an unknown number."
Sandusky, 68, is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys, identified only as Victims 1-10. He has maintained his innocence and is under house arrest, facing trial in June.
The reference to additional accusers was made in letters Amendola wrote to prosecutors. The letters were filed in advance of a hearing on Wednesday before Judge John Cleland in Bellefonte regarding subpoenas filed by the defense.
Prosecutors have accused Amendola of improperly using subpoena powers to go on a "fishing expedition" for information that can help Sandusky with his defense.
Cleland has issued a gag order in the case. Neither Amendola nor the state attorney general's office responded to requests for comment.
The criminal indictment of Sandusky in November 2011 set off a firestorm of controversy that included the firings of university president Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who later died of lung cancer in January. The scandal also resulted in criminal charges against two other university officials.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Beech)