From the Dept. of Terrible Adults Who (Allegedly) Do Terrible Things to Children comes former New Jersey Roman Catholic high school baseball coach Bartholomew “Coach Bart” McInerney, who’s standing trial for 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, courtesy claims that he had “sexually explicit conversations about masturbation and other topics with a dozen boys between the ages of 15 and 17 from 2001 until his November 2007 arrest.” A thirteenth victim committed suicide over the scandal, according to the boy’s parents.
According to one of the victims who testified, the conversations, taking place over text message with the then-coach of St. Rose High School’s baseball team, went like this:
Victim number 11 told jurors how McInerney initiated conversations with him about masturbation and introduced a code for texting him about masturbating. The code included a number for the duration of the act and a one-word description of how it felt – from bad to good to excellent.
There seems to be little dispute, from Coach Bart’s defense team, that the text message conversations, and their explicit nature, took place. Whether they were criminal, however, is another story.
Defense attorney Charles Uliano told state Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. the charges against Bartholomew “Coach Bart” McInerney should be dropped because in some cases the conversations discussed during testimony in the trial occurred when the victims were already 18 years old, the legal age of an adult.
Other conversations, Uliano argued, occurred when McInerney was not “officially” the baseball coach and therefore did not have the assumed responsibility for the care of the boys at the time of the conversations, or that the boys were all within the age of consent of 16 years old when the conversations occurred.
Mellaci explained that if he found a boy was over 18, he could rule the charge be dismissed, but added if the victim was under, the jury could decide.
And yes, there’s a site devoted to chronicling all the charges, with media reports dating back to 2008.