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Ernest Lorch

A Call for Witnesses: Survivors of Coach Ernest Lorch

Ernest Lorch was a multimillionaire corporate attorney who founded and coached the famous Riverside Church youth basketball program. Lorch turned the program into perhaps the nation’s most elite program, spawning the careers of dozens of NBA players, such as Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson, and Stephon Marbury.

While Coach Lorch was publicly revered, he sexually abused countless Riverside players. When multiple former players spoke out about their abuse in 2002, Lorch resigned his position after three decades of coaching. Lorch was investigated and indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury on attempted rape and indecent assault and battery of a child. He died at age 80 while awaiting trial.

Most of Lorch’s alleged sexual abuse occurred at the church, in his office or in a supply area, with other incidents occurring at his home and in hotels while the team traveled.

What is PCVA’s involvement in the Coach Ernest Lorch abuse cases?

PCVA is handling two ongoing cases involving Lorch filed under the Child Victims Act. Dozens have filed similar lawsuits. PCVA is looking for witnesses of the sexual abuse committed by Lorch and, in particular, any evidence that anyone at Riverside Church either knew or should have known that Lorch was sexually abusing the children on the basketball team.