A former standout New York City high school basketball coach was indicted today on charges that he raped a 14-year-old boy twice during a visit to Boston in the summer of 1976 to attend a Red Sox-Yankees double-header at Fenway Park.
Bob Oliva, the longtime coach for the powerhouse basketball team at Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on two counts of rape of a child, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of disseminating pornography to a minor. The incidents allegedly occurred at a Boston hotel, where Oliva and the boy were staying between July 31 and Aug. 1, 1976, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.
Oliva, 65, who retired from coaching last year and lives in New York, has not been arrested. He is expected to be summonsed to court to face the charges, according to his Boston attorney, Michael J. Doolin.
Oliva "looks forward to coming before the court and clearing his name,'' Doolin said. "He hasn't done any of these acts of which he's been accused."
Doolin said the charges didn't surface until several years ago, and that will be a factor for a jury to consider.
"I think that Bob Oliva is a guy who has had an impeccable career,'' Doolin said. "He's a very well respected, very decent guy, and I think he'll be found not guilty of these charges.''
The New York Daily News first reported that the victim, Jimmy Carlino, said he was sexually abused by Oliva over a period of years during the 1970s when he was a teenager growing up in Queens and Oliva was a basketball coach and tavern owner.
The New York statute of limitations expired long ago. But the Globe reported earlier this month that Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office was able to present the alleged 1976 attacks on Carlino to a grand jury because the clock on the Massachusetts statute stopped when Oliva crossed state lines and returned to New York.
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents Carlino, said today, "My client feels that the indictment in and of itself speaks volumes about the substance of the allegations. It is the beginning of the healing process for my client.''
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