NEW BRUNSWICK — Former St. Rose High School baseball coach Bart McInerney Monday pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fourth-degree child endangerment — charges stemming from conversations he had with his players about sex.
The plea was formerly entered in Middlesex County Superior Court, where a second trial on the charges was to have been held.
As part of the plea deal, Mr. McInerney will not face any jail time, probation time, parole supervision for life, community supervision for life or have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, according to Edward C. Bertucio, Mr. McInerney’s attorney. He will only be subject to “fines and penalties,” said Mr. Bertucio.
Judge Pedro Jimenez set sentencing for Friday Aug. 25.
“Mr. McInerney has always maintained that he had the best interest of these young men at heart,” said Mr. Bertucio. “He realized that the advice that he was giving would be better coming from a parent or a professional or a teacher. He also wants to put this behind him, and he also wants his former players and young men that he worked with to put it behind them.”
Mr. McInerney had been convicted in 2010 of 10 counts of second-degree child endangerment and sentenced to 18 years in prison. In October of 2012, however, the Superior Court Appellate Division overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. Mr. McInerney was then released, having served two years of his sentence.
According to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle, the state was ready to go to retrial when it was approached a few weeks ago by Mr. Bertucio about a plea agreement.
At the original trial, former players said Mr. McInerney had instructed them to masturbate and send him text messages detailing the act, and that sometimes he also provided them with condoms. Mr. Bertucio said during an appeals court hearing in February that those conversations “had no sexual purpose” but were meant “to instruct young men not to get girls pregnant or contract social diseases.”
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