Red Sox hit with child sex abuse lawsuit

Français : Galerie de la presse au Fenway Park...

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12-5-2011 New York:

Charles Crawford was an inner city kid from Boston who thought he had gone to heaven when his friend, a Red Sox batboy helped him get a job as Fenway Park clubhouse attendant in the early 1980s.

But the venerable ballpark turned into a house of horrors for Crawford and the batboy after longtime clubhouse manager Donald Fitzpatrick sexually abused them in the Red Sox locker room, says their lawyer, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian.

“These were inner city kids who were just happy to have jobs with the Red Sox,” Garabedian said. “They met movie stars. They met Ted Williams. Then they were sexually molested by Donald Fitzpatrick, a serial pedophile. It is similar to the Penn State case. Children were seduced by sports and sexually abused by an employee of the team.”

Garabedian notified the Red Sox on Nov. 22 that he is seeking $5 million in damages for each of clients. The statute of limitations expired on civil litigation, and Fitzpatrick can’t face criminal charges because he died at age 76 in 2005, but Garabedian said team executives have agreed to meet with him “to resolve the matter.”

The allegation that Fitzpatrick was a pedophile is not a new one, but charges by Crawford and the former batboy, who does not want to be publicly identified, mark the first time alleged victims say they were abused at Fenway Park.

“It would not be surprising if other victims come forward,” Garabedian added. “Fitzpatrick was a serial pedophile.”

Garabedian is scheduled to hold a press conference this morning in Boston to discuss his clients’ claims, which were first reported by the Boston Globe.

“The Red Sox have always viewed the actions of Mr. Fitzpatrick to be abhorrent,’’ team counsel Daniel Goldberg told the Globe. “When the team, then under a previous ownership group, became aware of the allegations against Mr. Fitzpatrick in 1991, he was promptly relieved of his duties.

“The club is unaware of any specifics regarding the matters brought forward recently by two individuals,’’ Goldberg said.

In 2003, the team settled a $3.15 million lawsuit with seven Florida men who alleged Fitzpatrick molested them during spring training beginning in the early 1970s, and Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty in 2002 in Florida to four counts of attempted sexual battery related to the case. ..Source.. by TERI THOMPSON , MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
Posted by: eAdvocate at 1/27/2012

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