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Rob Romano Aug 18, 2018, 4:12 pmAug 20, 2018, 8:20 am

Some sexual abuse charges dropped against Bergen Catholic High School coaches

Counts thrown out include that archdiocese failed to oversee program, high school worked to endanger students


ORADELL – A number of charges of sexual abuse were reportedly thrown out against current Bergen Catholic wrestling coach David Bell and assistant coach Dominick Spataro on Friday. However, The Record reports that two allegations in former wrestler Anthony Asatrian's case are still being considered, that he suffered emotional distress as a result of unwanted sexual advances and that Bergen Catholic tried to prevent him from changing schools.

The lawsuit was filed in April and claimed that Asatrian was sexually abused, assaulted, and harassed during three years at Bergen Catholic High School.

Some of the accounts thrown out include claims that the Archdiocese of Newark failed to oversee Bergen Catholic’s wrestling program and that Bergen Catholic High worked to endanger Asatrian and other students.

There was an attempt to make this into a class action lawsuit, but a judge on Friday reportedly has blocked the opportunity for up to 100 unnamed victims to be included in it as of now.

Asatrian said Bell never molested him but sent many text messages expressing his “love for him” and asking to wrestle him. Asatrian said Bell often watched him and other wrestlers undress and that Spataro showed pornographic photographs to him and another wrestler.

"It's laughable, it's undignified and should be stricken from the record," David Bell’s attorney, Sean Pena, said.

The report says that the lawsuit now centers on more than 90 text messages Bell sent to Asatrian starting in February 2016.

On Friday, the judge reportedly mentioned the need for a settlement between the two sides; however, neither one has been willing to back down.

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