9 more claim abuse by late Red Sox clubhouse chief
Nine more men are accusing a now-dead Boston Red Sox clubhouse
manager of sexual abuse, including assaults at Fenway Park and
Memorial Stadium, former home of the Baltimore Orioles.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said 11 men have now come forward
to him to claim abuse by Donald Fitzpatrick between the 1960s and
Ten of the men worked in their teens as clubhouse attendants,
including eight who worked for the Red Sox and two for the Orioles.
Another man says he was 12 when Fitzpatrick lured him to his
Randolph home with promises of baseball memorabilia, then molested
Ron Shelton, a former Orioles attendant, said Fitzpatrick
molested him twice, the first time after cornering him in an
equipment room in 1990 at Memorial Stadium.
”I just want to know, `Why did this happen?’ He violated me,”
Shelton said at a news conference with Garabedian in Boston on
Fitzpatrick, who died in 2005, resigned from the Red Sox in 1991
after the first of the charges against him. In 2002, he pleaded
guilty to attempted sexual battery on a child under 12. The Red Sox
have also settled a lawsuit by seven Florida men who claimed
Fitzpatrick abused them.
Counting the newest allegations, 21 men in three states have
accused Fitzpatrick of sexual abuse.
”I wouldn’t be surprised if there were hundreds of victims of
Donald Fitzpatrick out there,” Garabedian said. ”Pedophiles don’t
stop until they’re caught, or until they pass away. They just do
not stop and he had a 30-year reign.”
Garabedian said he’s asking for $5 million for each victim from
the Orioles or Red Sox, depending on which team they worked for
when Fitzpatrick allegedly abused them.
He called on the Red Sox to release any information they have
about Fitzpatrick, including any documents related to abuse charges
or if there are any confidential settlements.
Garabedian also said he’s considering asking the state attorney
general to conduct an investigation into Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick’s death ended the possibility of criminal charges
against him, and Garabedian said no civil action is possible in at
least nine of his 11 cases because the statute of limitations has
But he said the team should have known what was going on, and
the current Sox owners have a responsibility to the victims, even
though the alleged abuse happened under a different group of
Garabedian is a prominent attorney for clergy sex abuse victims
in Boston and he repeatedly compared the Red Sox to the Boston
Archdiocese, saying the team was being equally silent about the
abuse at Fenway Park.
”Another cathedral in Boston has a dirty little secret,” he
The Red Sox on Monday released the same statement by team
attorney Daniel Goldberg that they released when the first of
Garabedian’s clients came forward in December. The statement said
Fitzpatrick’s action were ”abhorrent” and noted he was forced out
by a previous ownership group as soon as the accusations became
”The club is unaware of any specifics regarding the matters
brought forward recently by these individuals but, given the
sensitive nature of the matter, will not have further comment,”
the statement read.
The Orioles did not comment.
On Monday, Shelton said his work as the visiting teams’
clubhouse attendant was a ”dream” job. Shelton, then 17, was
based in Baltimore and would dress in the visitor’s uniform and
assist with various duties, including working as their batboy and
handling the equipment. He even played catch with players and
Shelton, 38, said Fitzpatrick seemed friendly when they met and
insisted people call him ”Fitz.” But he said Fitzpatrick first
molested him after finding him alone in the equipment room and
convincing him to take off his shirt after admiring his physique.
After it was over, Fitzpatrick left with the instructions: ”Be
”I felt that meant … don’t tell nobody what happened, and
I’ll see you the next time,” Shelton said.
Shelton said he dreaded the Red Sox return trip to Baltimore
that year and tried unsuccessfully to avoid Fitzpatrick when he was
molested a second time. He said he quit the job after the season
due to anxiety over what happened, then vowed never to talk about
it, thinking he was the only victim and no one would believe
But he said after allegations against Fitzpatrick came out last
year, he decided to come forward to help other victims.
”I can help them out by saying, `This person, he was a monster,
and you’re not the only one that this happened to,”’ he said.