Youth hockey coach jailed for molestation

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A youth ice hockey coach who admitted sexually abusing multiple children in New Jersey and Delaware has now been sentenced to prison terms in both states.

Walter W. "Tracy" Ferinden, was sentenced to prison terms in New Jersey and Delaware for sexually abusing youth hockey players.
Walter W. “Tracy” Ferinden, was sentenced to prison terms in New Jersey and Delaware for sexually abusing youth hockey players.

One of Walter W. Ferinden’s victims said in a statement read in court Friday that he still struggles to deal with the abuse he suffered decades ago.

Ferinden, 57, coached youth hockey and ran skating clinics in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont between the 1980s and 2010.

He was arrested in 2017 on charges that he abused a Gloucester County child in 1994 and another victim in Burlington County in 1992. At the same time, he was charged with nine counts for similar crimes in Delaware in the late 1980s and early ‘90s.

In the Delaware case, Ferinden was sentenced to two years in prison in December after pleading guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual contact, a second-degree charge.

He’s also subject to two years probation in Delaware and must register as a Tier 2 sex offender.

On the New Jersey charges, Ferinden pleaded guilty in September to two counts of aggravated sexual contact (third-degree) in the Gloucester and Burlington cases, while two counts of sexual assault were dismissed.

Under the terms of a plea agreement in the New Jersey case, Superior Court Judge Kevin T. Smith sentenced Ferinden to 3 years in state prison. He must serve at least one year before he is eligible for parole.

He must also register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and submit to parole supervision for life.

The Gloucester County victim was a 12-year-old boy who played in a junior hockey league in Washington Township where Ferinden was a coach in the 1990s. The crimes occurred at Ferinden’s Deptford apartment.

The victim in that case gave statements to police in 2016 and 2017 that Ferinden kissed him on the mouth, massaged his body and pressed his genitals against him, according to prosecutors.

The abuse described in the Delaware cases involved two males under the age of 18 and occurred in the greater Wilmington area, authorities there said. Incidents occurred in a vehicle and Ferinden’s Delaware home.

Gloucester County Assistant Prosecutor Bryant Flowers read a statement from one of the now-adult New Jersey victims who described how he still struggles with depression, anxiety and panic attacks because of the abuse.

“Years certainly have passed, but the mind, body and soul will never forget the horrific, repeated events that I endured as a young, helpless child,” the victim wrote.

The child was assaulted in his own home, where his parents had allowed Ferinden to stay.

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