Woman sues Yonkers School District over alleged sexual abuse by ex-New Rochelle football coach
Former New Rochelle High School football coach Louis DiRienzo has been accused of sexually abusing a former student in the 1980s, and the accuser is now suing Yonkers schools.
In an exclusive phone interview with News 12, the woman says when she was a 15-year-old Lincoln High School student, DiRienzo, a health teacher and coach, began "grooming her on school property ... in the presence of teachers and administrators."
"I did let one of the other teachers in the school know and all I got from that teacher was, 'Oh I think you guys will be so happy together' and nothing was ever reported, nothing was ever said after that," the woman says.
She says eventually, the favoritism turned physical, and over the course of a year, he sexually abused her about a dozen times. The lawsuit claims the coach "instructed her to meet him during school hours" and kissed her, fondled her and required her to "engage in intercourse."
The Monroe woman is now suing the Yonkers School District for damages. She says she's convinced there are other victims out there.
"I want other girls out there who have been affected by this not to be ashamed, that this is not their fault," she says.
DiRienzo eventually left his teaching job in Yonkers and called New Rochelle home for nearly 30 years.
He made headlines last fall after being unexpectedly reassigned as the school's head football coach. Shortly after abuse allegations surfaced, he resigned. It's never been made clear as to why he was reassigned.
The coach's son called News 12 and says the family will likely release a statement at a later time.