Westchester Basketball Coach Accused Of Sexually Abusing Five Minors
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A long-time Westchester County basketball coach is facing more charges after prosecutors accused him of sexually abusing five children.
Richard Dinizo, 58, of Cortlandt Manor was arrested Thursday morning and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and transporting child pornography.
Dinizo engaged in sexual activity with five minors, all under the age 11, and videotaped the sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Dinizo is also accused of sharing the videos with others, Bharara said.
“As alleged, Richard Dinizo was a serial pedophile who not only recorded his deviant criminal acts, but shared those videos with others,” Bharara said in a statement. “Sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime that can scar its victims forever and we will continue to prosecute those crimes aggressively.”
“People who allegedly put our children at risk should expect to be found, prosecuted, and removed from society,” stated Special Agent in Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. “We will continue to dedicate our resources to aggressively target sexual predators who exploit our children.”
Neighbors who’ve known Dinizo for years said they are in disbelief over the charges.
“We all moved in together. We were neighbors here about the past 12 years,” neighbor Edward Gurland told CBS 2′s Lou Young.
Gurland said there was never any hint of Dinizo’s alleged abuse.
“That’s the shocking part, none,” he told Young.
“We all thought of him as a friend, period. And we’re all shocked and stunned and the kids and everyone around here have suffered because of what he did,” neighbor Robert Cleaver told CBS 2′s Young.
Dinizo was arrested last month and charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl after sources said someone discovered images of him with the girl and turned them over to police, CBS 2 reported.
Dinizo was brought to the federal courthouse in White Plains. Dressed in an orange county jumpsuit, he was subdued and soft-spoken as he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The father of three daughters has been a long-time girl’s basketball coach at a nearby high school and also with the Westchester Basketball Association.
So far, prosecutors said none of the alleged victims were players, but police are still investigating and expect additional charges to be filed.
There are concerns that there could be more victims and officials are asking them to come forward.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Department of Homeland Security at (646) 313-4380.
Dinizo is an Italian citizen who’d been living legally in the U.S. He’s due back in federal court at the end of June.
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