The abuse sometimes occurred at a remote part of a school after hours, or a hotel during a road trip, or a coach’s house, the lawsuits claim. One former football player for St. Francis Prep in Queens alleged in an affidavit that a coach “invited me to his home for a private workout and had me on a treadmill without my shirt or pants. He then exposed my penis and fondled my genitals.” A lawyer for St. Francis Prep did not respond to a request for comment.
In a lawsuit filed against Riverside and other institutions, one former player accused Mr. Lorch, who died in 2012, of plying him with money, sneakers and food between the ages of 12 and 15 and abusing him dozens of times. That player had previously sued Mr. Lorch, as meticulously detailed in The Daily News, but that case ran into the statute of limitations.
Another of Mr. Lorch’s former players, now living in Northern California, claimed in a separate lawsuit filed against Riverside Church on Friday that Mr. Lorch had regularly reviewed his report cards as a condition for staying on the team in the late 1970s, then abused him in a Riverside Church office.
Many coaches doubled as teachers, religious leaders and community figures, investing them with even more leverage and authority. At Islip High School on Long Island, a French teacher, now dead, asked one of his female ninth-grade students to manage the fencing team he coached, she says in a lawsuit. He abused her in the basement where practices were held, among other locations, the lawsuit says.
Annette Miano James is one of two former gymnasts from Brighton, near Rochester, to sue the town and the school district, asserting she had been abused hundreds of times, starting in 1970, by her coach, Duncan Ververs.