Complaint: Coach told abuse victims no one would believe them

Carlisle/West Shore

A Carlisle softball coach accused of sexually or indecently assaulting four girls during private hitting lessons told his victims to keep quiet about the abuse because no one would believe them, police said in charging documents.

Joseph V. Sullenberger, 48, was arrested last week on charges of sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, and related counts.

Sullenberger coached players through private lessons at Central Penn Sportsplex. Police say the assaults happened before, during and after lessons in a private area of the facility.

According to the criminal complaint, Sullenberger sent text messages telling one girl what to say if she was questioned by the police.

Sullenberger was a coach for the Susquehanna Valley Slam, a traveling girls fast-pitch softball team.

He also coached at Carlisle High School. The district said last month that he had been placed on immediate leave due to an investigation unrelated to his employment.

Sullenberger remains in Cumberland County Prison without bail. Police have said they are aware there may be other victims.

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