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Penn State scandal brings back bad memories for victims of Ron Berry case

The accusations have left many people in shock.

As the Penn State child sex abuse scandal continues to grow, it's also bringing back painful memories for many people in central Kentucky.

Years ago, Lexington was rocked by its own child sex abuse scandal, that has many similarities to the Penn State case.

It involved Ron Berry, who led the Micro-City Government Youth Program for decades.

In 2002, Berry was convicted of sodomy. The victims were boys between 12 and 16 years old.

Nearly 200 victims sued the city, claiming officials knew or ignored information that Berry molested children.

One victim, who wanted to remain anonymous, says he was just 14 years old when Berry first abused him. The abuse went on for months.

He says Berry was a man with power, and made sure his victims knew it.

"They would say we have power, influence, nobody will believe what you say, nobody cares what you say. We were exposed to a lot of things, horrible, abusive things," the victim said.

Things the victim, who is now 48 years old, says have long lasting effects. He said he's been incarcerated, been divorced, and has used drugs. He traces it back to abuse at Micro-City.

The victim says watching the Penn State scandal unfold has brought back memories. He remembers what it felt like to want to tell, but feeling there was no one to listen.

"These people are real. Their pain is real," attorney Gayle Slaughter said.

Slaughter represented hundreds of victims in the Micro-City case. A class action lawsuit is still pending. Slaughter says in recent weeks, many victims have been reaching out for help.

Berry spent three years in prison, and is now a registered sex offender in Kentucky.


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