Coach Faces Public Allegations of Sexting Teen; Zugibe Does Not Press Charges, Issues Statement

Allegations of inappropriate, sexually-themed texting by a Little League manager to at least one player have shocked Stony Point.

On Saturday, August 17, parent Tommy DeFrancesco, retired NYPD Sgt., publicized accusations that sexually-themed texts allegedly were sent by Stony Point Little League Manager Tom Crapanzano to his teenage son in 2011 and 2013. His son is now 16-years-old.

DeFrancesco said he met with Stony Point Little League board members earlier in the week and the texting evidence he presented was sufficient for the board to agree to never offer Mr. Crapanzano another coaching job. Board member Chris Cooney said he found DeFrancesco’s story and evidence to be “disturbing” and “scary.” SPLL President Bob Jordan said he would not comment on who was accused or what evidence they observed, but acknowledged that the league had taken steps to make sure “the manager involved” no longer worked for the league.

Crapanzano has long been a well known personality around town, being interviewed by the Rockland County Times as recently as late July following his Senior Division Little League squad’s state championship run.

DeFrancesco said he had been in contact with the Rockland District Attorney’s Office about the matter for a period of several months. DeFrancesco said that although the DA’s Office acknowledged the coach’s behavior was inappropriate, they declined to file charges, prompting DeFrancesco to make the allegations known via Facebook’s North Rockland Community Group. In addition to accusing Crapanzano of the inappropriate sexual gestures, DeFrancesco  criticized the DA’s Office for failing to press charges.

District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said he is constrained in what he can legally say regarding the matter, but he did refer to some of Mr. DeFransesco’s complaints against his office as “misinformation.” He would not say which parts of DeFrancesco’s statements were accurate and which were inaccurate, in his opinion.

DA Zugibe stated, “Legal and ethical rules limit my ability to publicly discuss the details of any investigation conducted by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office or dispute the misinformation being disseminated. As a father and grandfather, I certainly empathize with the concerns and emotions of a parent under difficult circumstances.  However, in carrying out my sworn duties, I cannot act on emotion.  Instead, we must apply the law to the facts developed and determine whether a crime occurred.

“The Rockland County District Attorney’s Office remains a national leader in the aggressive and just prosecution of perpetrators of sex crimes.  Our Special Victims Unit includes a highly-trained and specialized team of prosecutors and investigators who fully understand the complex nature of working with vulnerable victims. This specialized bureau continues to make a significant impact on the way some of the most violent and sensitive crimes in Rockland County are investigated and prosecuted.

“Based upon the completion of a thorough investigation conducted by this office, we have concluded that no criminal charges are supported by the evidence in this matter. I encourage anyone aware of questionable conduct or information that may be relevant to this determination to contact my office.

“No further comment on this matter can and will be made by my office.”

The use of social media to reveal the abuse allegations caused controversy within the North Rockland community, with many offended to see such devastating accusations levied against another member of the community via Facebook. Many others were supportive of Facebook being used for this purpose, however, so long as the facts back up the charges.

DeFrancesco has offered to reveal the text messages to local media and the Rockland County Times is currently seeking a retired law enforcement professional to review them. Further reportage in this Thursday’s print edition.