Two men who have accused a dead Boston Red Sox clubhouse manager of sexually abusing them when they were batboys are filing a $10 million lawsuit against the team. “These were inner city kids happy to have jobs with the Red Sox,” said their lawyer yesterday. “Then they were sexually molested by Donald Fitzpatrick, a serial pedophile. It's similar to the Penn State case.” Fitzpatrick died in 2005 at the age of 76. The team settled a $3.15 million lawsuit with seven Florida men in 2003 who accused Fitzpatrick of molesting them during spring training in the 1970s, and Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty in 2002 to four counts of attempted sexual battery. The team also paid $100,000 to a former clubhouse attendant who charged that he was assaulted during a team trip. This is the first time accusations have involved incidents at Fenway Park, according to the Boston Globe.
One of the men in the current lawsuit, Charles Crawford, said Fitzpatrick assaulted him twice in 1991—in a restroom and an equipment room at Fenway—when he was a 16-year-old batboy. “I’ve held one of Boston’s darkest secrets all these years, knowing people would have been blown out of their seats if they knew what the Red Sox let happen to me,’’ he said. A Red Sox attorney said officials were unaware of the incidents in the lawsuit, but that the team has "always viewed the actions of Mr. Fitzpatrick to be abhorrent." When the Sox became aware of other allegations against Fitzpatrick in 1991, the manager was "promptly relieved of his duties," the attorney added. Elsewhere, a Brooklyn prep school is accused in a lawsuit of covering up years of sex abuse of athletes by popular coach Phil Foglietta, now deceased, reports the New York Daily News.