By Ivan Pereira
The coach of the Rochdale Village Little League team has been accused of sexually abusing young athletes in his home for nearly two years and the authorities are trying to investigate just how long this illicit activity has been going on, the Queens district attorney said.
David C. Hartshorn collapsed in court during his arraignment on several charges Feb. 9, including criminal sexual act, use of a child in a sexual performance, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, the Queens DA’s office said. The 52-year-old coach of the building complex’s youth baseball league allegedly abused three teen boys between July 2009 and last month and possessed child pornography, according to DA Richard Brown.
“The consequences of his alleged actions for the victims are profound and can well result in emotional trauma from which they may never recover. Such alleged conduct cannot go unpunished,” Brown said in a statement.
Hartshorn has been remanded without bail and ordered to return to court Feb. 28, Brown said. If convicted of his charges, he faces up to 25 years in prison, the DA said.
Rochdale Village’s board of members did not return phone calls as of press time.ï»¿
The alleged sexual acts against the two 14-year-old boys and another 13-year-old boy took place at Hartshorn’s two-story house at 170th Street and 144th Avenue, according to the DA. On one occasion, he allegedly showed a 13-year-old a pornographic video and told him, “I’m going to do that to you,” before touching him in a sexual manner, Brown said.
In another incident, he allegedly videotaped the boys engaging in sexual acts with one another, according to Brown.
Sometime in August, Hartshorn allegedly had six boys over his house to play a twisted game of poker where the loser would have to perform a sexual act with another boy, the DA said. The coach is accused of filming the act with a camcorder and having other boys watch live, according to Brown.
Hartshorn’s reported misconduct was brought to the attention of the authorities when one of the boys told his mother, who called the police, Brown said. A police search of his residence uncovered several videotapes and DVDs of child pornography, according to the DA.
Hartshorn was listed as the commissioner of the Rochdale Little League Facebook page and on his page he claims to “play baseball” with a person who he says goes to MS 8 in Jamaica.ï»¿
Brown said the investigation was still ongoing since the police were still trying to find any other young victims. Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, text their tips to 274637 then enter TIP577 or log on to nypdcrimestoppers.com. All reports will be kept confidential.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.