Sex Scandal at Concordia University

     CHICAGO (CN) – A Concordia University baseball coach promised to recommend a recruit to Major League teams if he performed in porn videos, but the coach stiffed him, the young athlete claims in court.
     Anthony Collaro sued Concordia University Chicago and its former head coach Spiro Lempesis, in Cook County Court.
     Concordia is a private, 4-year college affiliated with the Lutheran Church. It prominently features baseball on its home Internet page, checked this morning.
     “From around four years of age, plaintiff aspired to have a career as a professional baseball player,” Collaro says in his complaint.
     “In or around the summer of 2000, plaintiff, who was approximately 10 years old, first came to know Lempesis when Lempesis coached a baseball camp for pitchers which plaintiff attended which was hosted at Concordia.”
     Collaro’s attorney Rebekah Williams told Courthouse News in an interview: “Knowing Anthony now and going over the story it seems like Spiro from an early age had an eye on Anthony. He had it out for Anthony since he was little up until he was in high school and was instrumental getting him to Concordia.
     “As typical with a sexual predator, they groom their victims, they get buddy-buddy with them, it’s like [Jerry] Sandusky – I hate to make that comparison, but he too would get to know the kids, bring them to his house and such,” Williams said.
     Collaro enrolled in Concordia University when he graduated from high school, the complaint states.
     “During plaintiff’s sophomore year at Concordia, Lempesis, who knew that plaintiff aspired to be a professional baseball player and was going to take multiple actions to acquire such a career, approached plaintiff and promised plaintiff that Lempesis would take multiple actions to secure plaintiff a career as a professional baseball player so as to induce plaintiff to individually perform an act that was sexual in nature while Lempesis videotaped him,” according to the complaint.
     Lempesis told Collaro that if he “performed an act that was sexual in nature on camera for Lempesis, Lempesis would edit the video footage and sell it to a porn company in California, and in return for the profits, Lempesis would take multiple actions to secure plaintiff a career as a professional baseball player,” according to the complaint.
     No specific sexual acts are named in the complaint because “Anthony doesn’t feel comfortable,” revealing the details, his attorney said.
     “From June 2008 and through July of 2009, and based upon the aforementioned factors, plaintiff justifiably relied on the statements made by Lempesis and individually performed an act that was sexual in nature act approximately twenty (20) to thirty (30) times in Lempesis’ office located in Concordia’s Geiseman Gym while Lempesis videotaped plaintiff using Concordia video equipment,” the complaint states.
     “That during the aforementioned videotaped sessions, Lempesis would hang a sign on his door which stated that school videotaping for purposes of class was being held.”
     Lempesis enticed Collaro to perform these acts with promises that he was in contact with recruiters from the Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, and Pittsburgh Pirates, but he never actually took any action to promote Collaro’s baseball career, according to the complaint.
     “Plaintiff never witnessed a single agent, scout and/or recruiter from any baseball team or association to be present at one of plaintiff’s baseball games,” the complaint states.
     Williams told Courthouse News: “Spiro kept saying, ‘You know you’ve really got it, you’re really a special pitcher.’ Anthony was a great player, but he wasn’t getting this special attention because of that, but for Spiro’s ulterior motives. Spiro preyed on that hope and desire.”
     In September 2010, the university fired Lempesis for “suspected inappropriate conduct,” Collaro says in the complaint.
     “Following Lempesis’ termination, plaintiff was informed by Concordia’s Dean of Students, Jeffrey Hines, that Lempesis had stored digital images and/or video of plaintiff on Lempesis’ computer located in his Concordia office. …
     “Subsequent to the termination of Lempesis, plaintiff learned that Lempesis had no responsibility or effect on the Concordia players’ achieving minor or major league status in their respective baseball leagues despite the statement Lempesis made to plaintiff in the contrary,” Collaro says in the complaint.
     He seeks damages for fraud and breach of oral contract.

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