Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Linda Metz story on C-M softball situation

Parents of assault victim cry foul

By Linda Metz, Staff writer

An attorney representing a Canon-McMillan High School student and her parents want to meet with school administrators in an effort to stop what they believe to be unfair treatment of the girl, who wants nothing more than to play softball for the Big Macs.
However, the district canceled a meeting scheduled for today and is refusing to allow them to speak at the next school board meeting, the parents' attorney, Matt Keranko, said.
"She's being singled out," said Keranko, who is representing Lori and James Maier of Canonsburg. "She's being embarrassed and harassed."
The girl is one of two who were sexually assaulted by former Canon-McMillan volunteer softball coach Justin Bedilion.
Bedilion, 25, of Waynesburg, pleaded guilty in January to sexually assaulting the two girls and supplying alcohol to minors on several occasions. He was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison followed by 4 years of probation. He also has to register his whereabouts with police for the rest of his life.
Bedilion was arrested in August 2006 for engaging in sex acts on separate occasions with the Maiers' then-15-year-old daughter, who was on the softball team, and a 13-year-old girl who lifted weights with the team.
The Maiers filed the federal lawsuit less than a month after Bedilion's sentencing. They claim that the district and the employees did nothing to stop the assaults.
In addition to a monetary award, the Maiers are asking that the school officials involved lose their licenses and their jobs. Former principal Linda Nichols, softball coach Michele Moeller, former Superintendent Eugene Buchleitner, Superintendent Nick Bayat and Bedilion were named as defendants.
Moeller recently took a leave of absence from her position. Steve Moskal, assistant varsity coach, was recently named interim head coach.
According to Keranko, unfair treatment of the girl, now 17, began before Moeller left the team. He said Moeller at one point refused to coach the second-year varsity player.
Things have not improved since Moskal's appointment, the parents maintain. During team tryouts earlier this month, the girl was the only player required to perform a timed running test before Moskal. Her teammates tested each other.
Moskal said she failed the test. However, upon retesting March 11 by athletic director Guy Montecalvo and principal Dave Helinski, the girl passed. In fact, she was one of just four girls on the team to pass the running test, Keranko stated.
That same day, the girl reported that Moskal confronted her and said, "You will never step foot on my mound. I am not Moeller."
Keranko described the girl as a talented softball player with good grades who has been approached by various colleges.
He added that conditions have been made so bad that she stopped participating with the team last week.
When contacted Tuesday afternoon, Bayat said he was aware of the situation, but he couldn't comment on it.
"We will give due process," Bayat said


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculous that they are suing just because she's not gonna get to pitch. And it's not because of everything that has gone on, they have a freshman pitcher who is flat out better. This is just another example of whiny kids and parents who get too involved. As for the sexual assault case, word is the parents knew this guy was over at their house and permitted it. Maybe they should sue themselves as well.

Anonymous said...

im sure he sexually assaulted her when she would tell ppl stories about when they did do it and how good it was

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the law suit, Moskal is treating the victim unfairly, along with her friends who are trying to support her throughout this public ordeal. Moskal is certainly not Moeller, nor is he even anywhere close to a coach who should be in charge of this team. He and the school district should be ashamed of themselves for purposely destroying not just one, but several softball careers as well. All these girls ever wanted to to is to play softball, fairly, based on their abilities. They have been conditioning as a team since October and passed all the try-out requirements. But, because of being scared of a law suit, that will not happen. This school ruined years of dedicated softball playing from elementary school until now. I hope they all happy with themselves.

Anonymous said...

First of all, how is Moskal not a capable coach. Where he has been, nothing but success has followed, whether it was the group of girls who won two or three section titles or the boys who were the only team from Canonsburg to ever make it to the Pony World Series. You could argue that Moeller was the head coach for those teams but he coached them much longer on the Lady Knights.

Secondly, please explain to me how Moskal along with the entire school district are purposely ruining several softball careers.

Anonymous said...

If she is being single out and the district does nothing to the coach(es) than it goes to show the political in the school district. If this girl is being treated unfair cause of the Bedilion crimes, than the school should be banned from all sports. What type of example has this school show the public as this little girl that was assaulted? The coaches, the athletics directory, and school board members should all be ashamed of them self. They should all be made to resign, if she is truly being treated unfairly.

Anonymous said...

Assaulted might not be the right word. If she is being "treated differently" it would probably have more to do with the parents filing suit against the coach and everyone else they could think of, then wanting the season to go on as if nothing happened. The assault issue was settled in court
and the guilty is being punished.
If any unfair treatment did occur it could be called many things (like hard feelings perhaps) but not politics by the school district?

Brian said...

This is sad. This is truly sad. I have followed this for quite a long time and it just keeps getting worse and worse. What is often forgotten is "At a preliminary hearing in January, the older girl, who lives in Canonsburg, testified that Bedilion drove her home from practice several times. During Super Bowl weekend in February 2006, the girl said, she and Bedilion had sex at her home while her parents were in bed" Now lets be serious, who is truly to blame? Then, the audacity, the avariciousness, to take it to the next level is what i can not believe. To sue and say a girl is being treated "un-fair" is fnwei32rfofn.(i can't even think of a word for it and slammed my keyboard) Questionable or un-fair treatment, whether we like it or not and whether it should or shouldnt be, is part or sports. It just so happens that this "un-fair" treatment is towards a backup pitcher whose family is suing more people than Jonathan Lee Riches. This isn't Jenny Finch, CM isn't the Olympic squad, and whether anyone likes it or not she is not even close to becoming a collegiate softball player. "Keranko described the girl as a talented softball player with good grades who has been approached by various colleges" those are probably the same letters that get sent to CM football players with Dan Pallante's name as the football coach still on it. In fact, i don't recall reading any sports only pieces about her. Now I should probably make it clear that this is not intended to slander, bash, harrass, or embarass the girl, i just want facts to be known

The sentencing also boiled me up a bit. Refusing the plea deal and virtually ending this young man's life.... Also, I'm a bit confused on why Pozonsky was the judge of this. I am in no way questioning his integrity but he is a member of CMSD and is very much involved in sports. His son also dated a softball player. I just thought that was intersting.

I feel bad for everyone involved; the Maiers, the Bedillions, the coaches, and the CMSD.
When this is all said and done, the bottom line is everyone loses.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it any better brian.