State police in Clearfield County say an area baseball coach is facing charges after being accused of molesting two young boys.
Troopers say the victims’ father reported that his 16-year-old son had been molested by 48-year-old Thomas Harzinski, of Olanta.
Police say the alleged abuse reportedly occurred at various locations, including a hotel in Pittsburgh, a campground in Williamsport and Harzinski’s residence.
Troopers say when they spoke to the teen, the victim’s 10-year-old brother also reported being molested by Harzinski, at least 4 to 6 times within the past year.
According to the affidavit, during one of the alleged incidents, Harzinski reportedly told the teen “just let it happen. It’s fine, no one will ever know.”
Investigators say both victims told police that Harzinski would buy them gifts, including baseball cards and sports memorabilia, and had taken them on trips, such as to Pittsburgh Pirates games and the Little League World Series.
Authorities say when they questioned Harzinski about the allegations, he reportedly confessed to the abuse.
Police say Harzinski also revealed that he is employed as the head baseball coach at Curwensville High School and authorities confirmed that both victims were involved in the school’s baseball program.
“There are so many great volunteers and coaches that do amazing things for our youth. They tend to be pillars in the community and are looked up to by so many for the good that they do in molding the next generation. Sadly though, there are predators out there that violate their duty to help these children. Instead, they steal the innocence of the children in their care, which is what Harzinski is charged with doing in Curwensville. I applaud the strength of these children in coming forward and telling their story. Hopefully their actions will be an example for other victims and that they know that prosecutors and law enforcement take these allegations very seriously, especially in protecting our youth,”
According to online court records, Harzinski was arraigned Tuesday on various charges, including sexual assault by a sports official, indecent assault and rape of a child.
He is being held at the Clearfield County Prison and his bail was denied.