High school coach arrested over alleged lewd requests
A baseball coach at a Belmar high school has been arrested and accused of offering to pay students if they called or sent text messages to him every time they masturbated.
Investigators say Bartholomew McInerny, a coach at St. Rose High School known as "Coach Bart" to students, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He has been released on $75,000 cash bail.
According to prosecutors, the requests went on for a number of months. Former students believe the activity may have a longer history.
"Before I was even in high school, I knew guys on the team," says student Mike Pizzolato. "They'd say stuff like, 'Bart, he'd do weird things with the text messaging.'"
Investigators are asking parents of children who may have had contact with McInerny to speak to their children. The diocese has also announced plans to provide counseling for its students.
Parents suspicious of inappropriate activity are being asked to contact investigators as authorities continue to examine the case.
To view the prosecutor's press conference, go to channel 612 on your digital cable box and click on iO Extra.Neighbors react to the arrest of 'Coach Bart'