A former Concordia University Chicago student is suing the school and a now-fired baseball coach, claiming the coach promised to get him a professional baseball career in exchange for appearing in more than 20 sex tapes filmed in the coach’s office.
Anthony Collaro filed the suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court against Concordia University and Spiro Lempesis.
Lempesis was fired in September 2010 after 10 years as Concordia’s head baseball coach following allegations of sexual misconduct, the university announced last November.
The university previously refused to release details on the alleged misconduct.
However, Collaro’s lawsuit claims that when he was a sophomore, the coach promised to contact players and recruiters at the minor league and professional levels to advance Collaro’s career as a way to induce him into performing sexual acts on video.
Collaro claims Lempesis filmed him roughly 20 to 30 different times in the coach’s office in a Concordia gymnasium between 2008 and 2009, according to the suit.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Lempesis said he was unable to speak about the lawsuit. “If it ever makes it to court, it’ll come out then,” he said.
The lawsuit alleges Lempesis lied when he told the student he would edit the footage, sell it to a California-based pornography company and use the profits to advance Collaro’s baseball career.
During that time, Collins said Lempesis told him multiple times that he was promoting him to a player with the Cincinnati Reds, and agents with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays -- none of which was true.
Collaro also claims school officials told him they found images or video of another person on Lempesis’ office computer after they began investigating him. The suit does not specify the nature of that footage.
The coach allegedly used the university’s video equipment, and stored the footage on his office computer, according to the suit.
Lempesis previously told reporters he acted inappropriately and deserved to be fired, but denied he did anything illegal during his time as head coach.
University President John Johnson said in February that the university and the U.S. Attorney’s office began investigating the coach in October of 2012, after learning about an Elmhurst Police report involving him.
According to the police report, Lempesis was found in the rear seat of his car in a parking lot with a 16-year-old boy at 2 a.m. June of 2012.
The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office declined to approve charges over the Elmhurst incident because he denied any sexual activity took place, and because the boy told Lempesis he was “18 or 19 years old.”
In a February letter to students and faculty, Johnson said Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins spent more than 520 hours interviewing more than 70 witnesses and reviewing 45 gigabytes of digital material.
However, the university declined to release further details when the probe concluded, citing the “sensitive nature of the investigation.”
Tuesday’s lawsuit claims intentional fraud and breach of contract, and seeks at least $50,000 in damages.
University officials did not respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday night.
--Pioneer Press, Sun-Times Media Wire
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