Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh believes the US media is choosing to ignore the sexuality of a former Pennsylvania State University coach, who is facing multiple charges of child molestation.

According to the Media Matters website, the controversial radio star, who has frequently made homophobic remarks throughout his career, said the “gay lobby” had affected the reporting of the story.

Jerry Sandusky, 67, from Pennsylvania, has been charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing at least eight young boys over the course of several years.

His former employer, Penn State University, has been accused of covering up the allegations and is now the subject of several investigations.

Speaking on his Premier Networks radio show, last Friday, Limbaugh claimed that Sandusky was “a gay guy”.

Limbaugh offered no evidence to back up the assertion and also claimed that Sandusky’s sexuality was the “elephant in the room”.

He then attempted to moderate his comments by saying: “Sandusky does not represent all of homosexuality, just like the priests in the Catholic Church don’t represent all of homosexuality, just like the aberrant criminals in heterosexual society don’t represent all heterosexuals.

“But because the gay lobby is very powerful, people don’t go there. People don’t address it, they don’t talk about it, and as such, an element of the problem never gets dealt with.”

Several other conservative media commenters have recently made homophobic statements by linking the Sandusky story to sexual orientation.

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah blamed the scandal on society’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Writing in an editorial, he declared that: “In an age when government schools are actually teaching children how to perform homosexual acts and that there is nothing wrong with them.

“It would seem that an environment conducive for predators of children is being created under the watchful eye of the state and the media”.

Earlier this year, Sir Elton John was criticised by gay rights groups for performing at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding.