Lawsuit accuses former Concordia coach of raping middle-school student
BY BILL DWYER Sun-Times Media July 9, 2013 9:16PM
Spiro Lempesis was fired by Concordia University in River Forest in 2010 after 10 years as the school's baseball coach. In May, he and the school were sued by a former player. Now Lempesis is being sued by a former Burr Ridge Middle School student. | Su
Updated: August 11, 2013 6:47AM
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Chicago accuses a fired Concordia University baseball coach of drugging and raping a 13-year-old middle- school boy in the mid-1990s.
In the suit, Spiro Lempesis is accused of sexually assaulting the Burr Ridge Middle School student starting in eighth grade and continuing until the boy was a junior in high school.
The plaintiff in the suit is the former student, Adam Kelley. The defendants are Lempesis, School District 180 and Burr Ridge Middle School. The school district is accused of negligence.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Officials with the school district could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit also alleges that Lempesis repeatedly threatened Kelley and his mother and sister, displaying a handgun and knife to the boy as a warning not to tell anyone.
The 23-page complaint asks for “in excess of $75,000” for each of its eight counts.
Besides his teaching duties at Burr Ridge Middle School, Lempesis also was an athletic coach and faculty adviser to the school’s booster club. Kelley’s mother was the booster club president.
After leaving Burr Ridge, Lempesis worked in the Norridge Park District from May 1998 through February 2003.
Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Lempesis denied the allegations in the lawsuit, calling them “garbage.”
Asked to comment on Adam Kelley, Lempesis replied, “All right, no comment,” then launched into a series of denials.
“It’s a bunch of lies. Just garbage,” he said. “I don’t know what people are looking for.”
Asked if he had ever given a “wedgie” to a specific student, Lempesis replied, “I was teaching [the student] how to hockey fight, and his mom walked in and was unhappy about it.” He said the incident occurred in the boy’s home.
“I’m just amazed at how this can happen, how people can sue and I have no recourse,” Lempesis said.
Asked “Are you a pedophile,” Lempesis answered: “Absolutely not. I don’t know why you’d ask me that question.
“There’s no evidence against me. I’ll take a lie detector test to prove my innocence.”
The new allegations come in the wake of a lawsuit filed in May in Cook County Circuit Court against Lempesis and Concordia University, where Lempesis was head baseball coach from 2001 to 2010. That lawsuit accuses Lempesis of using his position to persuade a Concordia player to perform sex acts on camera in return for Lempesis working to advance his baseball career.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday states that Kelley last saw Lempesis in 2010 at a class reunion.
In June 2011, Kelley, who lives in Louisiana, began psychotherapy to deal with problems including depression, anger and substance abuse.
“It was then that his repressed memories about the sexual abuse performed by [Lempesis] started to come back,” the lawsuit states.
Lempesis was terminated by District 180 effective June 1996. A March 16, 1996, memo obtained by the Pioneer Press newspaper states that Lempesis was released because of staff reductions.