Miami Youth Hockey Coach Charged With Molestation of Former Player
|photo by Jacqueline Carini|
|Joe Timpone behind the bench.|
Six years ago, Miami New Times profiled a group of teens from Miami-Dade taking part in the unconventional-to-south Florida sport of ice hockey. Known as the Miami Toros Junior Hockey Club, the team was coached and owned by a Long Island native named Joseph Timpone. The article notes how Timpone -- or, as his players nicknamed him, "Tampon"-- was fond of getting up close and personal: "He visits with each of his teenage charges and asks them how things are going, about their girlfriends, jobs or school, to clear out any cobwebs of stress or distraction that might inhibit their play in the game ahead."
Police now say that Timpone was interested in more than just the personal lives of his players. The former Toros coach faces charges of lewd molestation after an incident last year in which he allegedly molested a 12-year-old player.
According to the arrest report, Timpone was with his team at a hotel in Maitland on Sep. 3, 2011, when he texted the victim, telling him to come to an empty room. There, Timpone allegedly told the victim to remove his clothing, then applied oil to the victim's legs and buttocks and began to massage him. The touching went on for 45 minutes, only to be interrupted when Timpone heard someone calling for the victim in the hallway.
At that point, police say he told the victim to shower and get dressed and to keep the encounter a secret. He also allegedly told the victim that he was "big for his age," apparently referring to his penis.
But the victim's parents and brother -- who were also at the hotel -- soon learned what had happened. They noticed the victim's wet hair and asked him where he had been. Though the boy was initially reluctant to talk, he eventually told them about Timpone's improper conduct.
Timpone was taken into custody on Dec. 8 in Orange County. He has plead not guilty to the charges. His lawyer, David Setzer, declined to comment. Jane Johnson -- co-owner of the Toros' home, the Kendall Ice Arena -- did not respond to a request for comment, though she is listed on the arrest report as a witness. The report notes that "suspect [Timpone] told her [Johnson] that he massaged victim's legs."
Timpone stepped down as the coach of the Toros in July of 2008 but remained the general manager and owner of the club until last October. The current coach of the Toros, Paul Healey, didn't know any specifics, but was aware that Timpone had left the program for less-than-ideal reasons.
"I had a good idea of what had happened, but everything was up in the air," Healey says.
Timpone's trial is set to begin next month.