Coach facing more charges Elisa Fritter, 38, of East Coventry stands accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy and with having supplied alcohol to teenagers.

Posted: November 22, 2002

Elisa Fritter, the 38-year-old youth lacrosse coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, was charged yesterday with also having sex with a 16-year-old and supplying more than a dozen teenagers with alcohol on several occasions, including a beer party she hosted.

The new charges include multiple counts of endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, reckless endangerment, and furnishing liquor to minors.

Fritter, accompanied by her attorney, Joseph P. Green Jr., appeared in front of Pottstown District Justice James DeAngelo, who allowed her to enter the courtroom from a side entrance to avoid a phalanx of cameras.

Originally, Fritter was scheduled to have her preliminary hearing yesterday on the charges stemming from her arrest on Oct. 27. Those charges include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault and related offenses.

Instead, Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll opted to have Fritter arraigned on the new charges, which do not involve the 15-year-old boy. DeAngelo scheduled a preliminary hearing on all of the charges for Dec. 5.

"I'm still shaking my head, trying to figure out who the D.A. thinks he's trying to help here," said Green, reacting to the new charges. Green has previously said that Fritter needs help from doctors more than aggressive prosecution.

Prosecutors contend that Fritter, a popular coach for a lacrosse team for 13-year-old boys, met some of the boys involved in the charges through various sporting events.

Fritter's arraignment on the initial charges occurred at Phoenixville Hospital, where she was taken after an apparent suicide attempt the day after detectives executed a search warrant at the East Coventry Township residence she shares with her husband and teenage son.

In the new criminal complaint, prosecutors said Fritter was communicating near the end of September by instant e-mail message with a 16-year-old boy, whom she invited to a beer party at her home. The boy said that during the party, attended by about 15 juveniles and Fritter, he and Fritter began kissing. Later, they went to an upstairs bedroom and had sex, the complaint said.

Fritter took two other 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old to lunch at the Red Robin Restaurant on Route 113 in Uwchlan Township, the complaint said. After lunch, Fritter allegedly drove the youths to her residence and supplied them with alcohol.

The complaint further states that one of the 16-year-olds began to do work at Fritter's house about three times a week during a three-week period. Fritter gave him beer while he was working around the house, the complaint said.

Another 16-year-old boy said during late August or early September he attended a party at Fritter's home while she was on vacation at the Shore with her family, the complaint said. The boy said Fritter left a key to her residence under the front mat and about three cases of beer in a refrigerator in the basement.

Carroll declined to elaborate on the complaint for fear of identifying the boys.

"These are good kids from caring families who have already been victimized by the defendant and are very sensitive to the additional problems caused by the publicity surrounding the case," he said.

Fritter, a Pottstown native who has no criminal record, remains free on $10,000 cash bail; an additional $10,000 unsecured bail was added yesterday, which means that Fritter does not need to post additional money unless she fails to appear at a court proceeding.

"Elisa and her family have been longtime residents in this part of the world," said Green, arguing against a bail increase.

Contact Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-701-7625 or kbrady@phillynews.com.

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