Former Concordia University baseball coach charged with sexually assaulting … – Chicago Tribune
Former Concordia University head baseball coach Spiro Lempesis has been charged with criminal sexual assault for an incident that allegedly involved a 16-year-old boy.
According to a press release from the River Forest Police Department, Lempesis, 49, of the 4400 block of Carthage Drive, Rockford, was arrested outside his home on Thursday, Sept. 3. Lempesis appeared before a judge for a bond hearing the following day, and bond was set at $200,000.
In February 2015, River Forest investigators said they learned of allegations that a boy had been sexually abused by Lempesis when he was receiving private pitching lessons from the coach at Concordia University.
During the lessons, police said Lempesis would influence the victim to try on sliding shorts or a jock strap, and Lempesis would touch the victim’s genitals.
Lempesis also “influenced the victim to shower with him after the pitching lesson, and on one occasion penetrated the victim with his fingers,” police wrote in the release.
Investigators got grand jury subpoenas for Concordia University, ESPN, NCAA, Burr Ridge Middle School and the Norridge Park District, while also obtaining documents from each pertaining to Lempesis, police said.
Concordia University also turned over items removed from Lempesis’ office, including video footage, when the coach was fired in 2010, the release said.
During the past six months, investigators spoke to numerous witnesses, including former Concordia University baseball players and coaches, the release said.
This is not the first legal action brought against Lempesis: Two civil lawsuits were filed against him in 2013 alleging other sexual misconduct.
In May 2013, former Concordia University baseball player Anthony Collaro filed a lawsuit against Lempesis, alleging the coach coerced him into performing sexual acts more than a dozen times in exchange for helping him get drafted to a Major League Baseball team.
According to that lawsuit, Collaro performed sexual acts between 20 and 30 times in Lempesis’ office in the school gym between June 2008 and June 2009. In July 2009, Lempesis asked Collaro to perform a sexual act, but he refused. Later, Lempesis began restricting Collaro’s playing time, the lawsuit alleges.
In July 2013, a former Burr Ridge Middle School student also filed a lawsuit against Lempesis, alleging that Lempesis gave him alcohol and/or drugs then “brutally raping” him multiple times, fondling and exposing him to pornography starting in 1995. The abuse continued for three years, according to the suit.
Messages left with the River Forest Police Department and Concordia University were not immediately returned Friday.
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
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