Former Pittsburgh principal says he never acted inappropriately in gym shower, sauna

Defense attorney Phil DiLucente told the jury Tuesday during closing arguments that the behavior of two of the alleged victims in his client's case was illogical.

Both men claimed they were propositioned by Alfonzo DeIuliis in the sauna at the LA Fitness in McCandless last year as he was exposing himself to them -- and in at least one case masturbating.

But both men also said instead of walking out of the room when it happened, they remained to finish their time in the sauna. For one of the men, he even left the room briefly to get a drink and then went back in, Mr. DiLucente said.

"You don't get the hell out of there?" he asked the jurors. "It's just bizarre."

The former principal of Brookline K-8 is charged with open lewdness, indecent assault, unlawful conduct and related charges stemming from three incidents at the gym between February and August 2013.

Mr. DeIuliis, 37, testified Tuesday he never acted inappropriately in the shower or sauna at his gym. He was on the stand about 40 minutes. The jury will begin deliberating today.

"Did you ever masturbate in the shower or sauna of LA Fitness?" Mr. DiLucente asked his client.

"Never," Mr. DeIuliis answered.

The defense presented records from the club that showed Mr. DeIuliis did not swipe his gym membership card on the day one of the alleged victims -- then a 17-year-old boy -- tweeted that he had been propositioned in the sauna.

Mr. DiLucente also presented records showing that his client was in Florida during the time frame set out when the third victim -- a college student -- claimed to have seen Mr. DeIuliis acting inappropriately.

During cross-examination, assistant district attorney Kevin Chernosky repeatedly asked Mr. DeIuliis if he had ever entered the gym without swiping his card, and the man answered adamantly that it's required of everyone.

During his testimony, Mr. DeIuliis claimed that it was one of the alleged victims, Edwin Harper, who acted improperly in the sauna, not him.

Mr. Harper testified Monday that on Feb. 24, 2013, Mr. DeIuliis asked if he could turn out the lights in the sauna and then exposed himself, inviting Mr. Harper to masturbate with him.

But Mr. DeIuliis testified that it was Mr. Harper who unwrapped his towel, exposed his genitals and gave him a "quirky smile" before looking down at his own penis again.

Mr. DiLucente told the jury of five women and seven men during his closing that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Mr. Chernosky argued that Mr. DiLucente was practicing "showmanship."

"What he's been trying to do this entire trial is manufacture doubt. The chances that three people come forward making similar allegations just doesn't happen."

First Published May 13, 2014 1:16 PM


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