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The Sins of the Coach

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Oliva also had unusual motivational techniques, according to one former Christ the King player. On multiple occasions, the player says, Oliva would videotape interviews with him. “He’d say, ‘Take your shirt off. Pretend you just finished a game and you’re in the locker room. You’re going to be a pro one day, and you’re going to have to do interviews, so you’ve got to be ready for that,’ ” the player recalls. “He’d start asking sports questions, but then he’d eventually start asking sex questions, like ‘Tell me about the size of that guy’s cock’ and ‘Did the girl swallow?’ ”

Oliva’s ultimate motivational tactic, this player says, was taking him to a prostitute as a reward for a good performance. “We’d be driving around in his car after a game or a practice, and he’d say, ‘Do you want to get blow jobs?’ He’d go to Atlantic Avenue to pick them up,” says the player, who claims Oliva took him to prostitutes on at least five occasions. “He’d be in the front seat, I’d be in the back. Sometimes he’d have a girl, too, but he’d always be watching you, he’d always be turning around. He always had to watch.”

Jimmy Carlino is 49 years old. He lives in Florida and has been unable to hold down a job for the past few years, although in the past he’s worked as a stockbroker, strip-club manager, and horse-racing consultant. Until 2008, he was in regular contact with Oliva, visiting him in New York or hosting him at his place in Florida. But since Carlino accused Oliva of sexual abuse, the two have communicated only through third parties and lawyers. “Jimmy still considers himself a bit of a traitor for reporting him,” says Bob Hoatson, a Catholic priest who is counseling Carlino. “He hopes at times the guy doesn’t get into trouble.”

Carlino wouldn’t comment for this article, on the advice of his attorney, but people familiar with his story say that he first met Oliva when he was about 7 years old and his father took him to CYO tryouts at St. Teresa’s. Carlino began playing in Oliva’s intramural league and soon was receiving instruction from the young coach on the side. Oliva began taking Carlino for pizza after games, paying him to help clean up the Short Porch, and having him over to his apartment to marvel at his trophy collection. When it was time for Carlino’s confirmation, his father asked Oliva to be his godfather.

For years, Carlino has told people, his relationship with Oliva was nonsexual. But at around the time of his confirmation, Carlino has said, the relationship changed. One night he was at Oliva’s apartment when Oliva asked, “Have you ever seen a naked woman?” The coach brought out an 8-mm. projector and removed a reel of film from a cardboard box. Soon a porn flick was playing on the wall of Oliva’s bedroom, and Oliva was asking Carlino if he was excited. The coach then showed Carlino how to masturbate, Carlino has said, first by doing it himself and then demonstrating on Carlino. It was the first of many times, according to Carlino, that Oliva would molest him. Sometimes, Carlino has said, Oliva would get him to undress by asking to measure his penis, always telling him that it had grown. When Carlino grew tired of the porn movies at Oliva’s house, Oliva would entice him by taking him on out-of-town trips to watch baseball games and then molest him in hotel rooms. On several occasions, Carlino has said, Oliva took him to a brothel called the Open Lens near JFK, where on one occasion he watched Carlino have sex with a female prostitute. Carlino has alleged that Oliva molested him for four or five years, stopping only after Carlino suffered a serious back injury and was bedridden for several months during his junior year of high school at Archbishop Molloy.

For most of his adult life, Carlino either suppressed memories of his alleged abuse or kept them a secret. He’s subsequently explained that “if [Oliva] did a million things for me in my life, 999,999 were good things. He just did one bad thing.” But in the spring of 2008, Carlino could no longer keep that one bad thing to himself. Carlino was visiting a friend and former Christ the King player in Florida when the friend passed on some gossip. Mark had recently told another former Christ the King player that Oliva had molested him. What did Carlino think about that? Carlino, who had long believed he was Oliva’s only victim, decided it was time to confront his godfather. He had his cousin, a lawyer in Florida, draft a letter to Oliva demanding his resignation from Christ the King and $750,000 for the pain and suffering the coach had caused him. Oliva refused Carlino’s demands.


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