BELMAR, N.J. (CBS) ― A high school baseball coach was arrested, Monmouth County authorities announced Friday, after he allegedly had at least two of his players perform a sex act on video.
Bartholomew McInerney, 41, who coaches the St. Rose High School baseball team in Belmar, has been charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child as police say he had the students fondle themselves on video for his own personal viewing.
He was arrested at his Spring Lake Heights home on Thursday night and is currently free on bail.
McInerney, a trusted member of the Catholic school and Monmouth County community, was also accused of having sexually explicit conversations with the teenage boys.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin said that McInerney also demanded of the students "a description of how the victim felt and the length of time involved in performing the sexual act. In return, McInerney offered to pay cash."
Valentine said McInerney offered to pay the victims over a period of several months.
McInerney has been suspended from coaching duties and ordered not to come near the school or its students. Students were told not to talk to reporters after this afternoon's dismissal.
CBS 2 has also learned that because of his strong standing in the community and his successful run with St. Rose's baseball program, McInerney was said to be able to travel out of state with some of his baseball players on non-official trips.
His alleged actions apparently went on until someone in the community decided to step up and report him to authorities.
"People find out something like this, it's kind of a shock to them. But at the same time, a lot of people knew and haven't said anything," said Belmar resident Mike Bizzolato.
The Diocese of Trenton, which oversees St. Rose high school, announced in written statement: "School officials have also notified the state Division of Youth and Family Services regarding the case against Mr. McInerney and have supplied the agency with information needed for its own investigation. We will continue to cooperate fully with any and all investigations as they move forward."
Prosecutors say the alleged conduct took place between February and November of this year.