First Posted: 4/11/2012
SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP – An assistant Abington Heights High School seventh and eighth grade baseball coach allegedly admitted to police that he “crossed the line” when he asked a 12-year-old female player to bring her yoga pants and underwear “to baseball practice in a bag and leave them under his car,” according to a criminal affidavit.
Gavin Joseph Cerco II, 25, of Clarks Summit, was charged with one count of corruption of minors by the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office and South Abington Township Police April 5.
Cerco allegedly sent a friend request to the pre-teen girl on the social network site, Facebook. The girl and Cerco chatted online for “approximately a week and a half.”
The chats allegedly became “uncomfortable” when Cerco began asking the girl about “the type of underwear she wears under her yoga pants” and when he told the girl to leave the clothing items under his car.
After learning of the alleged conduct, Abington Heights Superintendent Dr. Michael Mahon contacted police. He later told investigating officers that internal policy in the district prohibits coaches from “texting, e-mails, or social network contact” with student athletes.
In a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center, the girl repeated the claims against Cerco.
In an interview with police at the South Abington Police Department, Cerco allegedly told investigators that he “likes to dress in women’s clothing” and was “sick of going to the mall, buying women’s clothing, and returning it when he was done with them.”
He allegedly confirmed to police that he had requested clothing items from the 12-year-old and that he “had pictures of himself dressed in women’s clothing” that he planned to send to her from his cellular phone.
Cerco also allegedly admitted that he “solicited another team member for Victoria’s Secret” yoga pants and that they were “at his residence in a pile of laundry.”
Mahon confirmed that Cerco is no longer coaching at the school.
“We’re very proud of the fact that the student spoke up and alerted us about the situation,” Mahon added in a phone interview Monday. “Other than that, the charges speak for themselves.”
Cerco was arraigned April 5 on the single charge of corruption of minors. According to court documents, he posted $75,000 bail April 9.
A preliminary hearing is set for April 11 at 11 a.m.