Former Norwell youth football coach gets 45 years in sex abuse case

BOSTON (AP) — A former youth football coach from Massachusetts who authorities say was filmed sexually abusing 11- and 12-year-old children has been sentenced to 45 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Derek Sheehan, 51, of Norwell was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in July to three counts of sexual exploitation of children, according to a statement from the office of acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Nathaniel R. Mendell.

“Adults who use their access to children for their own sexual gratification, like former football coach Derek Sheehan did, are both a danger and a disgrace,” Joseph Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston office said in a statement. “What Derek Sheehan did is absolutely horrific, and the impact on his victims is immeasurable.”


The investigation started in June 2018 when a minor went to local police to report sexual abuse by Sheehan.

A court-authorized search of his home in August 2018 resulted in the seizure of electronic devices that contained child pornography, prosecutors said. Video evidence showed Sheehan sexually abusing three victims who were either 11 or 12 years old at the time while they slept at his home on various dates.

According to an FBI affidavit in the case, the video appears to have been recorded by a camera positioned on metal shelving near where the abuse occurred. At least one victim was a friend of Sheehan’s son and was on the football team coached by Sheehan, according to the affidavit.


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