Official: Wrestling Coach Child Porn Case A ‘Shock To All’
NORTH ANDOVER (CBS) – One of the most successful high school wrestling coaches in Massachusetts may have videotaped girls in a locker room, prosecutors said Tuesday.
North Andover High School coach David Castricone of North Andover was arrested Monday on possession of child pornography charges. He resigned immediately.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.
He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in Lawrence District Court and was released on $1,500 bail.
WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.
Castricone came under scrutiny last week when a female student at the high school reported seeing a man in the girls’ locker room.
Prosecutors say surveillance video showed it was Castricone sneaking in at least nine times since January.
“It shows he was entering the female locker room with a black bag. It goes on to show various dates of him going in and out of the locker room, again sometimes seen with an electronic device with an LED screen in his hand,” prosecutor Jennifer Kunsch told the court.
According to prosecutors, Castricone told administrators he was looking for a scale. He was placed on leave.
Police then searched his house Friday, confiscating computers and electronic devices.
They allegedly found eight images of child pornography, among other photos.
“129 images of child erotica consisting of very young females in provocative poses, dressed in underwear, thongs, or bikinis. 77 pages of personal photos of females that appeared to be unaware a photograph was being taken,” Kunsch said.
It’s unclear what, if any, images were allegedly obtained by Castricone from the locker room.
Prosecutors say there are disks and memory cards that are still being analyzed.
Schools Superintendent Christopher Hottel sent a letter to parents Tuesday, saying:
“Despite what the media may be reporting, the Chief of Police assures us that to date there are no pictures of any students “in any way, shape or form.” If any pictures are found during the course of the investigation, the North Andover Chief of Police will call any parents individually to let them know what has been found.
This event has come as a shock to all. The investigation that the school administration undertook was swift and complete. Those involved in the investigation process acted immediately and appropriately. We also appreciate (the) police response in this matter. “
Castricone, 60, owns a roofing and siding business and has coached wrestling in Massachusetts for 38 years — the last 25 at North Andover High School.
He has an overall record of 681-142-3 and two state championships.
After Castricone’s resignation, an assistant coach took over his duties and will lead the wrestling team to the Division II state finals Wednesday.
One of his former wrestlers was shocked by the charges.
“I spent a lot of time with him when I was younger. He was a decent man. There was nothing to suggest he was into anything unseemly like this,” Kai Vlahos told WBZ-TV.
Martha Waldrep’s son, now in college, wrestled for Castricone.
“I confronted him about that and he said he was a good coach. So, it’s just sad and hopefully we can all find out exactly what happened,” she said.
“A lot of my friends are on the wrestling team and they sound really disappointed and upset. He was a role model to a lot of them,” said student Alex Macmillian as his mother picked him up.
WBZ’s Peg Rusconi and Ron Sanders contributed to this report
(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)