A long-time Jersey City youth baseball coach has been charged with molesting seven boys over the past three decades, authorities said today.
John Mercado, 52, of Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City, was charged Friday with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault by contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Debra Simon said.
Simon said that Mercado molested the boys while working at various local schools and as a youth sports coach.
Mercado appeared at Central Judicial Processing today, where Judge Margaret Marley said Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez had ordered him not to attend any youth activities and to have no contact with anyone under 18.
A recreation coach familiar with Mercado said that among the leagues Mercado coached were the Pershing Field Babe Ruth League and in the Hudson County CYO League. Mercado also ran summer baseball camps. The coach, who did not want to be named, said he doesn’t believe Mercado has been involved in Jersey City for the past few years.
Pershing Field Babe Ruth President Joe Napolitano said it has been at least 15 years since Mercado coached for the league.