NJ hockey coach charged with molesting boys decades ago
WOODBURY — A Pennsylvania hockey coach who held clinics in five states, including New Jersey, over the past 20 years has been charged with a molesting a 12-year-old player in 1994.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said Walter "Tracy" Ferinden, 55, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, was expected to turn himself in on Friday on two second-degree counts of sexual contact "by intentionally touching an intimate part of the victim's body for sexual gratification" in Ferinden's Deptford apartment in the summer of 1994.
The boy was playing in a junior hockey league at the time, according to Dalton.
Ferinden also faces nine counts of unlawful sexual account with minors in Delaware during the 1980s and '90s.
"It is especially devastating when persons entrusted with the care and supervision of our youth violate that trust," Daton said.
The prosecutor said an investigation began in 2016 in conjunction with police in New Castle, Delaware, and the FBI.
Ferinden coached youth hockey and skating clinics at the Holly Dell Ice Arena in Washington Township in Gloucester County, as well as Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Vermont from the 1990s until 2010, according to Dalton, who said Ferinden also conducted clinics elsewhere in New Jersey.
Law enforcement in Delaware and New Jersey believe there are other victims and are urging them to step forward. Dalton said New Jersey's law was changed in 1996 to eliminate the statute of limitations in such cases but was only retroactive to 1991. Delaware has no restrictions on bringing charges for such crimes.
"Certainly we can provide various services to any victims of crimes, especially victims of sexual assault. We want to make sure that in this case where the impact of the crimes that were committed on these young individuals is devastating and has repercussions for years to come that they get the necessary services and treatment to help with their recovery."
Dalton asked anyone with information about Ferinden to call 856-384-5626.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.