From winning coach to disgraced child abuser: the downfall of Bart McInerney

On July 10, Bart McInerney, once an esteemed baseball coach at St. Rose High School in Belmar, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child for sexting with many of his players. The case, pending since 2007, took a number of twists and turns over the years as McInerney was initially convicted by a jury, had his conviction overturned, was released from prison and was sued in connection with the death of one of his alleged victims.

Now sentenced for those crimes, McInerney, 51, is not going to serve any more time in prison beyond the two years he spent behind bars and he will not have to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. Monmouth County prosecutors said they reached this deal with the approval of the victims, who want to move on with their lives.

Aly Raisman: USA Gymnastics needs sweeping change after scandal

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Aly Raisman is ready to talk about "the elephant in the room." And the six-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast thinks it's time USA Gymnastics joins in a conversation she feels is long overdue.

The 23-year-old is calling for sweeping change in the organization in the wake of dozens of allegations of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, a scandal that has left one of the U.S. Olympic movement's marquee programs scrambling and Raisman shaken.

Off balance: USA Gymnastics needs a cultural change

On Aug. 9, 2016, the U.S. women's gymnastics team won gold at the Rio Olympics, its second straight team gold. Since late 2010, U.S. women's gymnastics has not lost an Olympic or world team competition, becoming the most dominant gymnastics program in the world. 

One year later, just ahead of the national P&G Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California, USA Gymnastics is mired in scandal. A former team doctor, Larry Nassar, pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and he has been accused by 119 former patients-- the majority college-aged women -- of assault during treatment sessions. Some of these sessions took place at Michigan State University, where Nassar had an office. Others took place at USA Gymnastics-sanctioned events, and some women alleged they were assaulted at Karolyi Ranch in Texas, owned by national team coordinator Martha and husband Bela and used for training camps throughout the year. More than 80 women have pressed criminal charges against Nassar.

New Premier League season begins … but child abuse scandal hangs heavy over football

The new Premier League football season kicks off this week, with record sums of money spent by top flight teams on new talent. 

The start of this coming season marks the 25th anniversary of the Premier League, and in a campaign first, it will get underway with a Friday night game – with Arsenal hosting Leicester at the Emirates.

This season will also see players competing for places in the 2018 World Cup squad, which will take place in Russia next summer. All in all, it’s set to be an exciting season, with Newcastle UnitedBrighton & Hove Albionand Huddersfield Town hoping to make their mark in the league after promotion.

But despite all the new season anticipation, football continues to be plagued by allegations of historical child abuse. This comes after a number of former players waived their rights to anonymity and talked publicly at the end of last year about childhood sexual abuse by former coaches in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

VOLUNTEER LITTLE LEAGUE® COACH. PROFESSIONAL CHILD PREDATOR.

Ken Stockton vividly remembers being drafted to his Little League® team in 1960.

“It was the team you wanted to be on,” said Mr. Stockton. “When I was growing up, baseball was the primary sport. Everyone aspired to play in the big leagues, including me. My coach was good, he was young, he had the skills, and had a capability to develop players. I was excited when I was picked for his team. He was also a pretty proficient pedophile.”

Mr. Stockton’s coach, like so many child predators, was respected in the community and by parents. He was the last person anyone expected to be a pedophile.

The Wrong Way to Keep Kids Safe From Predators

My heart is racing as he kisses my cheek. “Bye, Mom,” he says. Then he grabs his backpack and walks away. I want to snatch him back. I’ll settle for puking instead.

It’s the summer of 2015, and my baby is going off to camp. It’s 3,000 miles away. It’s his first time flying on a plane by himself. When he gets to the other side, a stranger will pick him up and drive him to the Poconos. To a cabin I’ve never seen. To sleep in some foreign, far-off bed.

Although he’s only 9, my boy fears none of this. On the contrary, he’s excited about the adventure. My son is unusually independent, which doesn’t surprise me.

I raised him to be like that.

Experts Explain: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sexual Assault in Sports

Experts are speaking out on the importance of safety in sports in light of the recent alleged sexual abuse scandal involving USA Gymnastics, former national team doctor Larry Nassar and Michigan State University.

Dozens of alleged victims are currently pursuing lawsuits against USAG, MSU and Nassar — all claiming similar stories of abuse and neglect including allegations that Nassar inserted his fingers into their vaginas and rectums without gloves as part of what he claims was a legitimate medical treatment. (Nassar has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing.)

Nancy Hogshead-Makar of Champion Women, an advocacy group for female athletes, says open dialogue between a parent and child is key to preventing this type of sexual abuse. This is especially true in athletics — where the bond between coach (or doctor, trainer, mentor) and athlete are “much different” from that of a teacher-student relationship. 

How to stamps out institutional sexual abuse

The latest sex abuse scandal in the headlines paints USA Gymnastics in as bad a light as you can imagine. Indeed, it is so bad the successful president of the organization, Steven Penny had to resign.

This scandal, amidst a series of other sports scandals, has pushed the U.S. Olympic Committee to create a new board to investigate claims of sex abuse, SafeSport, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with bipartisan support, to introduce the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act.

Talking to your young athletes about sex abuse

This week, former U.S. gymnastics national team doctor Larry Nassar, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 150 women and girls, faces at least an additional 25 years in prison after pleading guilty in November to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was also sentenced in December to 60 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

The Nassar case has been horrifying to watch, and is just the most recent example of a predator who was allowed access to kids for far too long. Kimberlee Norris, an attorney who specializes in these cases, said sexual abuse of youth by adults other than their parents is frighteningly prevalent.

Senators Introduce Bill Requiring U.S. Amateur Athletic Organizations, Members to Report Sexual Abuse

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) today introduced legislation to require amateur athletics governing bodies to immediately report sex-abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.

The bill stems from recent allegations of sexual abuse made against personnel involved with USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo.

The bill would also amend the Ted Stevens Amateur and Olympic Sports Act, which governs amateur athletics governing bodies, to make it safe and easy for victims to report abuse and mandate oversight of member gymnasiums to ensure strong sexual-abuse prevention policies are implemented. For example, USA Gymnastics would implement and enforce policies to ensure coaches and personnel are trained in sexual abuse prevention.

Senator seeks tougher law after USA Gymnastics' handling of sex abuse cases

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Friday that she will introduce legislation that would require Olympic national governing bodies to immediately report sexual abuse allegations to authorities.

Feinstein, D-California, said the legislation is in response to USA Gymnastics' handling of such allegations.

"News reports, civil and criminal cases, as well as discussions I’ve had with sex abuse victims, appear to reveal systemic problems within USA Gymnastics that have allowed allegations of sexual abuse to go unreported," Feinstein said in a statement Friday. "I met with some of the victims and it was one of the most powerful, emotional meetings I’ve had during my 24 years in the Senate. The abuse these women suffered will stay with them the rest of their lives."