The Rochdale Village Little League has had its season canceled following the arrest of its coach, David Hartshorn, 52, who has been charged with sex crimes against several teens. He was previously convicted of molesting children and served prison time for it.
When Detective Richard Santangelo of the Queens Special Victims Squad visited the 113th Precinct Community Council meeting on March 21, he informed attendees that the board of directors at Rochdale Village decided not to renew the team’s contract this year. He would not attribute it to Hartshorn’s alleged crimes, even though many inquired about the possible connection, according to the council’s president, Vivian McMillan.
“He said they just didn’t apply for it this year,” she explained. “He did not say it was because of the incidents.”
Santangelo also said there is an ongoing investigation and that cops are continuing to search for more of Hartshorn’s potential victims, according to McMillan.
“They are trying to see if there are more people involved — if he did it to anyone else,” she said. “It’s really a terrible thing.”
Hartshorn, formerly the little league’s coach of the year, has been charged with sexually abusing three teenage boys — two age 14 and one age 13. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
He also allegedly showed his victims pornography, touched them inappropriately and filmed the boys while they engaged in sex acts with each other.
A search warrant executed at Hartshorn’s apartment recovered many movies on both videotape and DVD of young boys engaging in sexual acts and images of small children, less than 10 years old, engaged in similar activity, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
“They should have checked more into his background, his records,” McMillan said. “Anytime someone is filling out an application to be around kids, they should know where he was before and what he did.”
Hartshorn had been imprisoned in 1989 for endangering the welfare of a child by sexually abusing youngsters, but since there was no sex offender list at that time, he slipped through the cracks and was hired by the little league, McMilllan recalled Santangelo telling attendees at the meeting.
“Parents have to have better communication with their children and know where they are going and who they are with,” McMillan added.
The Rochdale Village board and the little league could not be reached for comment by press time.