Two men testify Pittsburgh principal solicited them for sex

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Two men testified Monday that the suspended principal of Pittsburgh Brookline K-8 solicited them for sexual activity at a McCandless gym last year.

Alfonzo DeIuliis, 37, is charged with open lewdness, indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor and related charges stemming from three incidents in the sauna at the LA Fitness in McCandless between February and August of last year.

His jury trial will continue today before Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.

A man testified that he was in the sauna in February 2013 when Mr. DeIuliis followed him from the sauna to the shower and back again.

In the sauna the second time, the defendant asked Mr. Harper if he'd mind if he'd turn off the lights, and then a short time later asked if he wanted to masturbate with him.

The witness made a complaint with the gym staff, and as he walked to his car in the parking lot, he said that Mr. DeIuliis, who was in another vehicle, repeated his request.

The witness told the jury he got the man's license plate number and made a report to the police.

He didn't want to press charges at the time, but when another complaint came up from another patron in August, Mr. Harper cooperated with investigators.

The second complaint was made by a then-17-year-old, who testified that he and Mr. DeIuliis were the only two in the sauna Aug. 12 when he saw the man masturbating.

The teen said he was nervous and angry but stayed in the sauna, using his iPhone.

The younger man left briefly to get a drink, but returned to the sauna, and when he did, he said Mr. DeIuliis walked toward him, tapped his leg and asked to perform oral sex on him.

"I said, 'Hell no,' and left," the witness testified. He went home, told his mother what had happened, and she called LA Fitness. A couple weeks later, when the teen saw Mr. DeIuliis at the gym again, police were called.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Phil DiLucente focused on the teen's reaction to what happened.

"Knowing that he was masturbating, you went back in?" the attorney asked.

"Yes," the witness answered.

During opening statements, assistant district attorney Kevin Chernosky said the case was about "the systematic propositioning of lewd behavior" at the club.

"It's about what you can and can't do in a public space."

But Mr. DiLucente told the jury his client did nothing wrong.

"I will prove that Alfonzo DeIuliis is innocent," Mr. DiLucente said.

Mr. DiLucente told the jury that his client wasn't even at the gym the day of one of the allegations.

"My job is to prove he wasn't there, and if he was there, it was under a different set of circumstances."


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard.


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