Ex-Girls Basketball Coach Charged with Sexual Assault

By Chad Hemenway
Ashbury Park Press
December 17, 2006

Somerville — A former Immaculata High School physical education teacher and coach, once described by an assistant as the "Vince Lombardi" of girls basketball at the school, was arrested and charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a female student, Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest said.

Pamela Balogh, 39, of Bethlehem, Pa., was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, fourth-degree criminal sexual contact and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

The female victim reported the sexual assaults, which usually occurred in Balogh's office at Immaculata High School, began in December 2004 and continued through September 2005, Forrest said.

Balogh resigned from Immaculata High School in September 2005 as a successful girls basketball coach. At the time of her resignation, Immaculata Athletic Director Pierce Frauenheim said Balogh left on good terms with the school, its administration and her players.

Frauenheim said Thursday he could not comment and referred reporter queries to the Diocese of Metuchen, which serves parishes in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Somerset counties. The diocese operates Immaculata.

"The Diocese learned of the sexual abuse allegations (Dec. 13) and immediately notified the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office," read a statement released by Joanne Ward, director of the Office of Communications for the Diocese of Metuchen. "We offer our prayers for the alleged victim, her family, Ms. Balogh, and all others who may be affected by this matter."

Forrest said the victim recently came forward and reported the alleged assault to Immaculata. The school notified the diocese, which immediately reported it to authorities, Forrest said.

As a coach at Immaculata, Balogh led the girls basketball team to a 240-63 record over 12 seasons.

Under Balogh's leadership, Immaculata reached the finals of the Somerset County Tournament seven consecutive seasons, including five straight championships from 1998-02. Overall, the Spartans appeared in the finals 10 times during Balogh's 12 seasons, winning seven times.

Forrest said Balogh has been employed at North Hunterdon High School since September 2005.

Balogh, a graduate of North Hunterdon High School, was a member of the North Hunterdon High School girl's basketball team that won 83 straight games and three consecutive Group III titles.

State Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman set bail at $100,000, cash or bond. Balogh was taken to Somerset County Jail. She is to have no contact with the victim or any other students, as a condition of her bail, Forrest said.

The investigation by the Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit is continuing.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.