Longtime varsity wrestling coach David Castricone, 60, was arraigned in Lawrence District Court Tuesday morning, pleading not guilty to possession of child pornography after and was released on $1,500 cash bail shortly afterward.
As prosecutors requested a much higher $15,000 cash bail, disturbing details and allegations emerged from the police report.
Thong Factory Dreams and Locker Room Schemes
According to police and prosecutors:
- On Feb. 7, a female NAHS student reported seeing a man in the locker room who looked like Castricone. When the principal asked Castricone about it, Castricone told him that he had been looking for the school's scale of a weigh-in for the boys. Officials found this odd, because at that time wrestling matches had begun so there was no need for a weigh-in.
- School officials reviewed hallway security cameras and saw a man, identified as Castricone, go into the girls locker room several times -- at least nine times, and stay in the locker room for sometimes several minutes at a time.
- On Feb. 8, Castricone was placed on paid administrative leave. Observation of the security tapes showed him carrying a small electronic device with an LED screen, and Verizon Wireless later confirmed that he had cell phones matching the description of the device on the tapes.
- Castricone was reportedly seen with his hands inside a locker. Police searched that locker and found clothing in it identified as the clothing Castricone was wearing in the security videos of him entering the locker room. Also found in the locker was a digital memory card, which is now being analyzed. Police pointed out that the particular locker is located in a spot that has a view of the whole locker room and the hole in the locker door can fit a video recording device.
- On Feb 10, Castricone allegedly spoke with school officials and told them he was planning to go to Brazil and open a factory to make girls underwear, including thong underwear. School officials reported that he seemed "euphoric" while talking about this.
- On Feb. 11, police arrived at Castricone's Court Street home with a search warrant and confiscated his cell phones, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, an MP3 player and digital camera, among other items.
- When police went upstairs near a particular room, they noted that Castricone seemed very nervous. They asked if he and his daughter -- who was home with him at the time -- wanted to sit in the kitchen, and he said yes.
- Police went to the kitchen and asked if they were going to find anything in the attic, and Castricone nodded his head yes. He told them he had pornography in his attic. They asked how old the girls in the pornography were, and he said he did not know.
- Police reportedly found 79 pages of pornographic images in the attic including child pornography, images of girls in thong underwear and images of girls who apparently did not know they were being photographed. They also found 335 pages of adult pornography.
- Castricone told police he had been having a tough time since his wife started going to Florida by herself during the winters.
Castricone was in the parking lot of his Sutton Street business, for possession of child pornography.
The School Department met with NAHS parents Monday night to discuss the arrest.
At his arraignment Tuesday morning, prosecutors said the disturbing details of the case warranted a high bail, especially since there are further investigations pending, and requested $15,000 cash bail.
But Castricone's defense painted a different picture of Castricone, pointing out his college education in economics and his years of service to the school system as well as his record number of wins as a coach in Massachusetts -- 38 years as a coach and more than 600 wins.
In the end, Castricone's bail was set at $1,500 cash. As conditions of his bail, he must have no contact with children under age 16, no contact with North Andover High School and restricted computer use. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 30 for pre-trial conference.