High School Basketball Coach Indicted For Massachusetts Sex Crime

Posted on October 14th, 2010 No Comments

Ernest Lorch, founder of the famous Riverside Church High School basketball program, has been indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury for molesting a teenager in Amherst more than 30 years ago.

The two-page indictment, handed down Tuesday, charges Lorch with indecent assault and battery of a person over 14 years-old and attempted rape. The maximum penalty for both counts is five years in a Massachusetts state prison. The indictment contends Lorch assaulted a teen some time between March 1977 and April 1978. The chief of the child abuse division of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, Jane Mulqueen, said the alleged victim had traveled to the University of Massachusetts with Lorch to attend a basketball tournament.

The indictment identifies the alleged victim as “B.W.” Prosecuting attorney Lawrence Luttrell said the alleged victim is a former Riverside player. “B.W.’s focus right now is to cooperate with the prosecutor’s office in his capacity as the victim of the crime that Ernest Lorch has been accused of committing,” Luttrell said.

Lorch filed a lawsuit against B.W. and two other men alleging attempted extortion. Lorch claims the men threatened to go public with sex abuse claims unless the basketball coach paid them off. That suit is still pending, Luttrell said.

“We are hopeful that new evidence will further support our position that the ridiculous civil suit filed by [Lorch] will be dismissed so as not to interfere with the criminal investigation.” said Luttrell.  “We are also hopeful that this new development gives courage to any other victims of abuse in this country to overcome their fear of coming forward.”

For more information on Massachusetts sex crime law, please contact the Massachusetts sex crimes attorney James Powderly by calling 508-343-0676.

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