Penguins, Former Coach Named In Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Assault

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PITTSBURGH, PA — A former assistant coach for the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the team related to sexual assault allegations.

Former Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins assistant Jarrod Skalde contends in the lawsuit that then-Wilkes Barrre-Scranton head coach Clark Donatelli sexually assaulted his wife, Erin Skalde, during a team road trip in November 2018.

The lawsuit alleges that after the Skaldes and Donatelli had dinner together, Donatelli groped Erin Skalde when the two of them were briefly alone, according to a TSN report. Donatelli allegedly continued to grope Erin Skalde while they were in the back of a vehicle taking them and Jarrod Skalde back to their hotel.

No criminal charges were filed in connection with the alleged incident, and the Penguins have filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The lawsuit contends that when Skalde told then-Pens assistant general manger Bill Guerin about the assault, Guerin told him to keep quiet about it. Guerin, now general manager of the Minnesota Wild, declined comment.

The Pens announced that Donatelli had resigned as head coach of Wilkes-Barre-Scranton due to personal reasons in July 2019. Skalde's contract was not renewed in May 2020.

The lawsuit alleges the Pens violated Pennsylvania's whistelblower laws by firing him for coming forward to the team with the allegations. The lawsuit notes he was the only member of the franchise's 21-member hockey operations staff who lost their jobs.

Pens attorney Lori Armstrong disputed those claims in a statement to TSN.

"The team investigated and took immediate action in June 2019 when notified of the alleged incident, which Mr. Skalde reported seven months after it allegedly occurred," she stated.

"Mr. Skalde continued to coach for the team [Wilkes-Barre/Scranton] for an additional year, when his contract was not renewed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The allegations made against the team have no merit, and we have moved to dismiss the complaint."


This article originally appeared on the Pittsburgh Patch

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