MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — A coach at a private school on the Main Line is behind bars tonight, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female player.
James Civello, 50, worked as the squash coach at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr until July 3, according to the school. That’s about the time authorities began investigating him for the sexual relationship.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman says the girl told her parents about the relationship over the July 4 holiday weekend, and they went to the police. Civello is being held on $100,000 bail in Montgomery County prison pending a preliminary hearing on Thursday. He’s charged with corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child.
“We’re not talking about allegations of a one time event,” Ferman said. “We’re talking about a relationship that developed totally inappropriately between coach and student and spanned multiple weeks or months.”
Ben Simmoneau reports…
According to court records, the girl told police the relationship began on April 7, when the two had sex at the Bryn Mawr Guest Suites, a boarding house on Morton Road. She said they also had sex once at the Haverford train station and several times at her parents’ home.
“What’s significant is the fact that this was really a very brazen relationship,” Ferman said. “It was ongoing, taking place at locations around the community.”
Ferman said she believes Pennsylvania law should be toughened to deal with relationships between minors that are 16 or 17 and teachers or coaches. Right now the adults in these cases can generally only be charged with misdemeanor crimes. Ferman would like to see the state legislature create a felony statute because the offenses occur so frequently.
The students “look up to them [the coaches or teachers] or even idolize them,” she said. “So for an adult to take that trust and turn it around for their own gratification is what makes this so unseemly and so sad.”
Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS3