Wrestling mat

Lawsuit Accuses Bergen Catholic Wrestling Program Of Sexual, Verbal Abuse

April 10, 2018 - 9:53 am

ORADELL, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A former wrestler and student has filed a lawsuit, claiming Bergen Catholic High School officials conspired to cover up sexual and verbal abuse in the school's renowned wrestling program.

The wrestler claims the coach and his assistant subjected him to unwanted sexual advances.

"He engaged in and encouraged bullying. He made inappropriate comments. He put his hands in inappropriate places," attorney Andrew Miltenberg said. "An atmosphere that's filled with bullying, sexual innuendo, touching the young men, watching the young men dress and undress, and in some cases even showing them illicit photographs."

In a civil lawsuit, Miltonberg claims the school tried to shield the coaches, but Bergen Catholic President Brother Brian Walsh said the allegations are false.

He told The Record they reported the claims to the Archdiocese of Newark and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. The administration investigated and found the allegations to be "unfounded, frivolous and untrue."

No criminal charges have been filed.

Lawyers for both coaches say the accusations are false.

An attorney for coach David Bell told The Record the accuser fell short as a wrestler and is looking to strike back.

Miltenberg said there could be as many as 100 victims.