Sal Camerota Sr. is a child abuser. When I was a child, he watched me get physically and sexually abused by other children my age, and Sal Camerota Sr. did nothing but smile and laugh through the whole thing. And he was the person who had asked for the role of protecting me.
I grew up in a town called Enfield, CT. I went to elementary school and middle school at a place called St. Martha’s school. It was one of many Catholic schools in the area. Many of the local Catholic schools had basketball teams, but St. Martha’s basketball team was unique in that the team belonged to travel leagues and played distanced and more talented basketball teams than those in the immediate area. To fill out this travel league with talent, St. Martha’s opened up enrollment of their team to children outside of St. Martha’s school who went to non-Catholic schools, primarily local public schools.
I was enrolled in the team in my 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade years (’93 through ’96 -‘97) by my uncle, Sal Camerota Sr. He enrolled me, and his son Sal Camerota Jr. And he then volunteered to be the assistant coach of the team. The head coach of the team was a man by the name of Mr. Slattery. Mr. Slattery had been the long-time head coach of the team and was glad to have the assistance of my uncle. There was also a political aspect. My uncle Sal Camerota Sr. was, and is a part-owner of a successful local business, along with my father/his brother, and his other brother. And Sal Camerota Sr., and the company he part-owns, donated a lot of money to St. Martha’s church. And so if Sal Camerota Sr. wanted to help coach the school’s basketball team, and enroll his nephew to be on it, then he was of course welcome to. If you donate substantial money to an institution, it tends to grant you the rights to edge into seemingly innocuous roles within that institution. This was the power granted to Sal Camerota Sr. And so, as so tragically often happens with victims of abuse within an institution, their abuser is in the very position of authority that the victim would have appealed to for their protection. This, combined with the added element of Catholic guilt, and the Catholic expectation to accept abuse as a part of “carrying your cross”, made me a prime victim for an abuser such as Sal Camerota Sr.
The children from the local public schools that came to play on the travel league of St. Martha’s basketball got along with most of the kids from St. Martha’s school. But these public school kids loved to bully me. This was mostly because I had a condition called gynecomastia, a condition where a man grows woman-like breasts during puberty. These children abused me for having that condition, they would grab at my chest/breasts constantly, they would grab at my genitals in a violent abusive way, and kids would even pull down my pants in front of other kids. And my uncle, Sal Camerota Sr., for four basketball seasons, would watch this abuse happen to me, and would do nothing, except laugh along with the children who were doing it.
I remember in my second year or third year of St. Martha’s basketball. The first day back was a meeting day to go over the logistics of the season. All on the team gathered into a classroom in Prudence Crandall School in Enfield, CT for the meeting. Prudence Crandall was a school, whose gym St. Martha’s used for their practices, as St. Martha’s did not have a gymnasium of their own. When I walked into the meeting, all the kids on the team from the local public schools started booing me. And one of the kids yelled out to me, “Why are you here?” And I replied, “I’m here to play basketball.” Upon saying this, all the kids erupted into laughter. And for that whole season, every week, those kids on the team would grab at my chest and molest me at unexpected moments relentlessly, all while saying to me in a mocking tone, “I’m here to play basketball.” Sal Camerota Sr., the man who was in the position to watch over me and protect me in that environment. Sal Camerota Sr., the man who asked for that role. Sal Camerota Sr., watched all of this happen, and did nothing, except laugh along.
Sal Camerota Sr. is a child abuser. Sal Camerota Sr. is a man who enjoyed watching a child get abused. That is a type of child abuser.
I know publishing this will anger some. But as Sal Camerota Sr. used to say to me with a smile and a laugh when I would come to him with my troubles, “That sounds like a personal problem”.