Prominent Maine basketball coach Ordman Alley on Monday denied “sexual abuse allegations” against him, saying they were made by “two individuals who have historically demonstrated their personal animosity toward me.”

Alley, who was the boys basketball coach at Jonesport-Beals High School in Washington County before retiring in 2005, denied the accusations in a statement issued by the Bangor law firm Lanham, Blackwell & Baber.

Alley, 72, was responding to allegations made by two women that he had sexual relations with them when they were underage students at a school where he taught. The women spoke to the Portland Press Herald on the condition that they not be identified, following the advice of their attorney. The newspaper does not identify victims of sex crimes – which these women allege they are – without their consent.

“I unequivocally deny any of the sexual abuse allegations,” Alley said. “These accusations are unfounded lies which have kept me out of my rightful place in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.”

The newspaper reported Sunday that a letter written in 2005 by a former student and sent by certified mail to Alley led to his removal from the inaugural class of inductees to the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame and his expulsion from the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. The halls acted after the former student sent them the letter this spring. The newspaper did not disclose the nature of the allegations until Alley revealed them in his public statement.

The letter was written by a 58-year-old woman who says she first had sex with Alley when she was a 13-year-old student at Cove School on Beals Island in the late 1960s. The two continued to have sex, including in school settings, until she was 16, she said.

She said she wrote the letter nine years ago because of her anger toward Alley, a former teacher.

“When I wrote the letter to him I wanted him to finally acknowledge what he did to me and take responsibility,” she said.

Alley signed for the letter, says the woman, but she does not know if he read it. He did not respond to her at the time, but addressed it in his statement.

“One of the alleged victims has inappropriately attempted to involve herself in my life from time to time,” Alley said. “For example, she has reached out to members of my family on Facebook, but has not made the claims she is now bringing forth.

“Some time ago she sent me a letter with numerous allegations of abuse, incidents which simply never occurred. Her claims do not survive any serious scrutiny as most of the alleged incidents occurred in highly public settings in the local school.”

The woman responded: “His statements are false about me. I never inappropriately reached out to his family. I never tried to get into his life.

“I still feel shame and I shouldn’t.”

Alley’s statement also addressed a paternity claim against him, by the other woman.

“In the early l990’s, the other individual made paternity claims against a number of men, including myself,” he said. “Notwithstanding the fact that there was no chance that I was the father, I submitted to a paternity test. This test scientifically proved that I was not the father.”

That woman also says she had a relationship with Alley at the Cove School at age 13 and that it lasted until she was 16.

“I have heard these allegations before and they are completely without merit,” Alley said. “I dedicated my life to serving children and young adults as a teacher and a coach. Sexual abuse of any kind is repugnant to me and everything I stand for.”

During a 39-year coaching career, Alley’s teams won nine state championships and more than 500 games. Alley also said that neither hall of fame contacted him before deciding to oust him.

“I was not provided with any semblance of due process by these organizations before they made their respective decisions which have irreparably harmed my reputation,” his statement said. “Neither organization contacted me for my perspective before they reached an unfounded conclusion.”

Steve Pound, chairman of the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, told the newspaper Saturday: “We were made aware of information and acted on it appropriately. That’s the only statement I will make.”

Dick Whitmore, president of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, said Saturday, “We did our own due diligence, contacted several sources and acted on the accumulation of information.”

Both Pound and Whitmore had no comment when reached Monday.

Alley said he may take legal action.

“I am exploring my own options of bringing legal action against those who have slandered me,” the statement said. “I look forward to the opportunity to address these false allegations in a court of law where all of the participants will be assured of due process.”

If Alley moves ahead with a threatened lawsuit possibly citing defamation, the action is welcomed, said Rebecca Irving, an attorney who first listened to the women’s allegations in 2005.

“If (Alley) wants to open the courthouse doors we’ll see him there,” Irving said. “Truth is an absolute defense to defamation and I believe these two women. I think they’re incredibly courageous.”

The two women were not classmates and hadn’t spoken to each other about their experiences until shortly before they met with Irving, who has an office in Machias.

No one at Lanham, Blackwell & Baber was available for comment Monday, an office worker said.

A search of the state’s public database shows that Alley has no criminal record in Maine.

The allegations of sexual abuse against the former coach date to the 1960s and 1970s and could not be prosecuted today.

Under current law there is no statute of limitations for the crimes of gross sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor or unlawful sexual contact if the victim was younger than 16.

The law was changed in 1999 to allow those crimes to be prosecuted at any time, regardless of how old the allegations are, but the change did not apply retroactively to crimes in which the statute of limitations had already run out.

Then-Attorney General Steven Rowe said that the statute of limitations prohibits prosecution of sex crimes committed against children that occurred before 1988.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveSolloway

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