EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — East Greenwich High School assistant volleyball coach Donovan Baker was fired after an independent investigation determined his conduct over four years constituted sexual harassment, according to the superintendent’s decision obtained by Target 12.
Justin Amaral, the head volleyball coach, was also fired for failing to meet his coaching responsibilities, with the report noting he was “not receptive to complaints” against Baker. Both former coaches also received lifetime bans from working in the district.
“We just learned about these allegations at the end of last week, so I’ve asked the state police to join us in reviewing them,” R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha told 12 News on Tuesday. “Of course, we’ll coordinate with the East Greenwich police as well. But they’re concerning. We’ll take a look and when we’re in a position to share more with the public, we’ll do that.”
The March 1 report says Baker’s conduct “violated Title IX” and “school district policy.”
It claims Baker “kissed or forcibly attempted to kiss” three girls and “touched one student on her thigh under a blanket.”
It also alleges Baker targeted “the entire JV team during the 2018-19 volleyball season” using social media and text messages and contacted 14- to 17-year-old student athletes at “all hours of the day.”
The report says Baker told two students he would “wait for them” until they turned 18 to pursue a romantic relationship.
Baker’s alleged conduct began as soon as he became a coach at the high school and became “more severe” during his four years there, according to the report.
The superintendent’s report presents a timeline of events, which starts with a parent filing the Title IX complaint on behalf of her daughter on Nov. 4. It alleged Baker sexually harassed the girl for more than two years, dating back to September 2019.
The report stated the district hired an outside investigator, who spent four months looking into the allegations and subsequently issued a 216-page report.
East Greenwich Superintendent Alexis Meyer then issued her eight-page report on March 1, firing the two coaches and instituting the lifetime bans.
District officials declined to comment.
Kerri White, a spokesperson for DCYF, told Target 12: “DCYF is aware of the allegations and, pursuant to state law, conducted an investigation. The results of the investigation have been shared with East Greenwich schools and law enforcement.”