Taunton man among 21 alleging sexual abuse by former Red Sox clubhouse manager

A Taunton man and 20 others are demanding justice from the Boston Red Sox and three other MLB teams, after they said they were victims of sexual assault by an ousted clubhouse manager.

According to Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer representing the 21 men, the allegations against Donald Fitzpatrick span from 1967 up until 1991 when he was fired from his position with the club.

The assaults, according to Garabedian, took place at Fenway Park, the Red Sox facility in Florida, Baltimore, Kansas City, and in little leagues in Massachusetts.

The victims’ ages range from 45 to 66 years-old.

“What he did was open and notorious. He would abuse in the clubhouse. He would abuse in the dugout. He would abuse in workout areas when the players weren’t around,” he said. “Players told my clients, stay away from Donald Fitzpatrick, stay away from him. It was an open secret.”

Fitzpatrick ended up pleading guilty to four counts of attempted sexual battery in 2002, and later died in 2005.

Garabedian is demanding $5 million for each of his victims.

He said the Red Sox, Orioles, and Athletics, who once played in Kansas City, have remained silent. He said the Royals told him they “will not resolve the claims,” according to Garabedian.

“They’re re-victimizing these individuals, these courageous sexual abuse victims by staying silent and doing nothing,” he said. “21 sexual abuse victims of Donald Fitzpatrick, 15 are of color.”

Charles Crawford from Taunton said he was sexually assaulted twice by Fitzpatrick when he got a job at Fenway when he was 16 as a clubhouse attendant.

“Once when I asked for a ball in a private locker room off inside the locker room, inside the clubhouse where the other players were but he’s the only one who had the key,” Crawford recounted in a Zoom press conference Wednesday. “[Fitzpatrick said] come in to help for the west coast trip, and I was sexually assaulted in the bathroom that led to the dugout.”

Crawford believes the Red Sox need to do more so justice can be served.

“Something has to be done about it. I’m not going to give up. I’ll keep speaking out for other kids,” he said. “For this organization that’s supposed to be about kids and caring, I mean it’s a disgrace how they treated us.”

When contacted by The Associated Press, Daniel Goldberg, an attorney for the Red Sox, re-issued a statement the team released in 2017, noting that Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to criminal charges under the team’s previous ownership.

“The Red Sox have always viewed the actions — which date back as long as six decades ago — of Mr. Fitzpatrick as abhorrent,” the team statement says. “When the team, under prior ownership became aware of the allegations against Mr. Fitzpatrick in 1991, he was promptly relieved of his duties.”

This story contains information from the Associated Press.

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