14
Nov
09

youth baseball coach sentenced

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1 Response to “youth baseball coach sentenced”


  1. November 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    In case any of you were following this story,

    A longtime Freemansburg Junior Legion baseball coach will spend up to 15 years behind bars for trying to sexually assault a 14-year-old player over six months last year.

    Daniel R. Schaefer, 44, of Bethlehem Township was sentenced Thursday by Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano to the maximum allowable by law after admitting in July to charges of attempted aggravated indecent assault and corrupting a minor.

    >From January to June 2008, Schaefer touched the victim in increasingly inappropriate ways while doing “warm-up exercises” at Schaefer’s Meadow Lane home before practice.

    Schaefer, who provided the boy rides to baseball, would give him stretches that progressed into massages, the rubbing of the boy’s buttocks and other acts, prosecutors have said.

    Under Giordano’s sentence, Schaefer must serve at least six years in state prison before he’s eligible for parole. Because of the nature of his offense, he’ll also have to register as a sex offender for 10 years after his release.

    Schaefer, who was vice president of the Lehigh Valley Junior Legion Baseball League, resigned from the post as the police investigation was under way. He also quit coaching.

    Schaefer had also served for more than a decade as both a baseball and basketball coach at Lehigh Valley schools, including in the Whitehall-Coplay and Bethlehem Area school districts.

    Brian Dancsecs, chairman of the Freemansburg-Bethlehem Township Athletic Association’s board, said Thursday the league’s thoughts and prayers go out to Schaefer’s victim.

    Schaefer consistently passed the background checks that are required for coaching Little League, Dancsecs said. In the wake of the arrest, the association re-examined its policies but found they were appropriate, he said.

    All volunteers are screened, Dancsecs said, and anyone questionable is brought before the board of directors.

    “We agonized over whether we could have done anything differently, and really there was nothing we could do,” Dancsecs said. “He always had a clean record.”

    During Schaefer’s guilty plea hearing in July, a letter from the boy was read in court, in which he said Schaefer would promise him preferential treatment.

    The boy said he thought the offer was made because he was playing well, but “realized it was one of his lures to get me into his basement.”

    The victim told police that Schaefer recorded his name and height on a wall that had at least 10 other names and heights written there; no other victims came forward, prosecutors have said.

    If Schaefer is paroled, Giordano ordered him to have no unsupervised contact with children and to avoid any youth sports events.


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