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

early 1990s.

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

him.

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

Monday.

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

expired.

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

owners.

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

said.

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

known.

”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

signed autographs.

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

good.”

”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

him.

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.