Former St. Rose High School baseball coach Bartholomew McInerney addresses the court during his sentencing in Monmouth County Superior Court on June 10, 2010. / Asbury Park (N.J.) Press
BELMAR, N.J. - A wrongful death suit filed by the estate of a high school student who killed himself by jumping in front of a train after alleging he suffered emotional trauma at the hands of his former baseball coach has been settled.
St. Rose High School coach Bartholomew McInerney, along with the school and the Diocese of Trenton, agreed to pay $900,000 to the estate of Andrew Clark Jr., an 18-year-old Spring Lake Heights resident.
Meanwhile, McInerney, nicknamed "Coach Bart" when he coached at St. Rose in Belmar, awaits retrial on child endangerment charges in Middlesex County after his Monmouth County conviction was overturned.
McInerney was accused of having sexually explicit conversations encouraging his players to masturbate, to send details of the act to him in text messages and, in some instances, to videotape it.
Clark Jr. transferred to Manasquan High School after leaving St. Rose when McInerney was arrested in 2007. Just before the trial, at the end of his junior year on June 20, 2008, Clark Jr. killed himself.
The tragedy was compounded for the teen's surviving family, said Kevin Parsons, the attorney who represented the estate in the wrongful death suit. About a year after Andrew Jr. died, his father, Andrew Clark Sr., also committed suicide.
Clark Jr. was poised to testify against his former coach along with a dozen former St. Rose students.
McInerney had formed a travel team nicknamed the Belmar Mets, taking students to places such as Hawaii and Alaska for games, then using those trips to engage in sexual discussions with the youths, officials said. Those discussions and exchanges were the basis of the criminal charges against McInerney, authorities said.
McInerney, 50, of Spring Lake Heights was convicted Jan. 22, 2010, of 10 counts of child endangerment and sentenced to an 18-year prison term. The conviction was overturned in appellate court, which ruled that the trial judge gave confusing or inadequate instructions to the jury about the supervisory role over the victims that McInerney would have had to play in order to be convicted of second-degree crimes.
In the settlement, St. Rose and the diocese paid $475,000, McInerney paid $275,000 and co-defendant Mark D'Onofrio paid $150,000.
Parsons said that Clark had gone to the home of D'Onofrio for a graduation celebration and drank alcohol before committing suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train in Spring Lake.
Andrew's mother, Jacqueline Dahrouge, 48, Parsons said.
"She has a good family, a good son in Shane (Andrew's brother)," Parsons said. "The two of them are a very strong unit."
Nonetheless, they are "never going to fully heal," Parsons said.
Edward Bertucio, the attorney who represented McInerney in his criminal trial, did not return a call for comment.
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