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, who has been 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 pleaded not guilty and is under house arrest. His trial is due to start in June.
The reference to additional accusers was made in letters Amendola wrote to prosecutors. The letters were filed ahead 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. The state attorney general's office declined to comment on the case. Amendola did not immediately respond to a request 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 longtime football coach Joe Paterno, who died of lung cancer in January. The scandal also resulted in criminal charges against two other university officials.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Mohammad Zargham)