A Queens Little League baseball coach with a history of sex charges has been accused of sexually abusing three teenage boys, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
David Hartshorn, 52, allegedly molested three teenagers on the Rochdale Village Little League team from July 2009 to just a few weeks ago.
According to the DA, Hartshorn allegedly showed pornography to a 13-year-old boy and threatened him by saying “I’m going to do that to you.” Authorities also alleged that Hartshorn hosted a poker game with six teenage boys at his home in which losers would have to perform sexual acts on another boy. Hartshorn filmed the game with a camcorder, prosecutors said.
Neighbors said they often saw children at his home.
The Rochdale Little League did not immediately return calls, and Hartshorn's attorney declined comment. Authorities said Hartshorn was once named "Coach of the Year."
Hartshorn has a previous record. The DA confirms he was arrested in 1989 for sodomy and promoting sexual performance with a child under 16. In court, he was sentenced to three years
probation; the crime did not require him to register as a sex offender.
"Why wouldn't they check that out? These are babies," said neighbor Wanda Harris. "How couldn't a baseball league check out the background of someone like that?"
Hartshorn was arraigned Wednesday on charges of a criminal act in the first and second degree, use of a child in a sexual performance, second-degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said.
A search of the defendant’s residence turned up movies of young boys and children younger than 10 years old engaged in sexual acts, according to prosecutors.
The police began investigating Hartshorn after one of the boys told his mother about his experiences, the DA's office said.
As the charges were presented in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, Hartshorn appeared to faint, reports The New York Daily News. However, he regained consciousness and was ordered to be held without bail.
Hartshorn faces up to 25 years in prison.