Former Coach Strikes Plea Deal in Child Sex Abuse

Union County Prosecutor will ask for seven-year sentence for man who admitted to tryst with a teen in Parsippany and Hoboken.

The owner of Parsippany's now-closed Ablaze Baseball, who grew up in the Caldwells, pleaded guilty to having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old girl, officials said this week.

Robert J. Gervasi Jr., 48, of Bloomfield, a former teacher and coach at Montclair Kimberley Academy and a former Union County teacher, entered his plea Tuesday before a Superior Court judge in Elizabeth. Gervasi pled guilty to one count of second degree sexual assault and two counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a minor.  

He is a 1982 graduate of James Caldwell High School.

Union County Assistant Prosecutor David Hummel said his recommendation is seven years in a prison followed by Parole Supervision for life and that he be barred from public employment under Megan's Law. 

Judge John Triarsi is scheduled to hand down the sentence on March 22.

Gervasi was arrested in Union Township in August 2012 while attempting to meet with a 14-year-old girl, Romankow said. He is reported to have started a sexual relationship with her earlier that summer.

Gervasi was at MKA between 1997 and June 2002. During that time, he taught middle school mathematics and was the school's head varsity softball coach. He left upon his own choosing.

MKA Headmaster Thomas Nammack said he had no comment regarding Gervasi. 

Initially he was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree luring, one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

Authorities said the relationship took place in parks in Union Township, at Gervasi's baseball academy in Parsippany and at a condominium in Hoboken.


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