|Report: Sex Scandal Brewing at Riverside
Apr 30, 2002 1:16 pm
NEW YORK (AP) -- A
multimillionaire attorney who ran a youth basketball program that
produced dozens of NBA players has resigned amid allegations that he
sexually abused a former player.
Ernest Lorch, the director
of the Riverside Church youth basketball program, has voluntarily
stepped down after the report that he also paid the alleged victim
$2 million, the church announced Tuesday.
after the Manhattan district attorney's office said it was
investigating "certain matters relating to the Riverside Hawks
basketball team and the team's volunteer director," church officials
said in a statement. The Daily News first reported the resignation
in its Tuesday editions.
The church "pledged its full
cooperation in this matter ... and declines to comment further on
the investigation," said spokesman Daniel Karslake.
former player, 34-year-old Robert Holmes, claims that Lorch sexually
abused him during the 1980s when he was a teen-ager playing for the
Hawks. Holmes is serving a 97-month sentence in federal prison for
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney
Robert Morgenthau said the prosecutor's policy is to not comment on
A message left at a telephone number
listed under Lorch's name was not immediately
Karslake told the News that Lorch claims "the
accusations were preposterous and deplorable ... But given the
climate that we're in, it was best that he step aside until he is
Lorch, the former president of holding company
Dyson-Kissner-Moran, founded the basketball program in 1961. Many of
its former players have made it to the NBA, including New York
Knicks guard Mark Jackson and former All-Star Chris
He testified in Holmes' gun trial that he made
payments totaling $2 million to Holmes between 1997 and 2000.
Holmes' attorney, Paul Brenner, claims the payments began after
Holmes and his mother confronted Lorch about the abuse
"It was over a period of almost three years, and it
was in connection with his business, which appeared to be going
quite well," Lorch testified, according to the News. He called the
payments an investment, but there was no timetable for
Holmes reportedly spent the money on luxury
automobiles, motorcycles, trips to California, recording equipment
and studio time for a failed hip-hop record label.
testified that he never received any return on his
"I've invested with no strings," Lorch said,
according to the News.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated
Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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