Lawsuit alleges sex abuse coverup by Bergen Catholic wrestling program, report says
A 12-count lawsuit filed Monday in state Superior Court in Bergen County alleges coaches from the powerhouse Bergen Catholic High wrestling team engaged in sexual and verbal harassment of at least one wrestler while the school administration conspired to keep the abuse under wraps.
News of the lawsuit was first reported by northjersey.com.
The lawsuit alleges Bergen Catholic head coach Dave Bell "inappropriately undressed with minors and watched wrestlers, including Plaintiff, change in the locker room, which they were completely nude or partially nude." It also claims assistant coach Dominick "Donnie" Spataro "showed pornographic and nude photographs of himself and others on his mobile phone to Plaintiff and other minor wrestlers, including photographs of his own nude body including his depictions of his penis."
The complaint goes on to allege that members of the Bergen Catholic administration, including the school's president, Brother Brian Walsh, principal Timothy McElhinney and athletic director Jack McGovern "knew or . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.