Lawsuit to be filed against Penguins, Bill Guerin alleging sexual assault cover-up

Bill Guerin was formerly the assistant GM in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bill Guerin was formerly the assistant GM in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The wife of a former coach in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization is preparing to a file a sexual assault lawsuit against the organization and former assistant general manager Bill Guerin.

Erin Skalde, who is married to former Wilkes-Barre Scranton assistant coach Jarrod Skalde, is expected to file a lawsuit in Rhode Island, alleging that Clark Donatelli, the former head coach of the Penguins' minor-league affiliate, sexually assaulted her while on a team road trip in Providence in 2018.

Skalde will reportedly name Guerin, who currently serves as general manager of the Minnesota Wild, as well as Penguins owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux as defendants.

It's expected that a news conference will be held Tuesday.

When the incident was first reported on last year, Jarrod Skalde said he was told to keep quiet about Donatelli's alleged abuse after he reported it to Guerin and senior management seven months after the fact. He says he was fired for complaining to the team about the incident again, prompting the Skaldes to file a lawsuit in Pennsylvania last November after violating Pennsylvania’s whistleblower laws.

Guerin left the Penguins in the time between the alleged assault and Skalde's dismissal.

Erin Skalde alleges that after a dinner in Providence she was touched inappropriately by Donatelli when the two were briefly alone and again in the backseat of a ride share with Jarrod in the front seat.

In the initial lawsuit filed in November, the Skaldes were requesting damages for "physical and emotional pain and mental suffering and loss of income."

The second lawsuit against the Penguins comes at a time where the NHL is grappling with the fallout and backlash from a sexual assault cover-up inside the Chicago Blackhawks organization in 2010. Multiple members of senior management with the Blackhawks have lost their jobs, and the organization was fined $2 million after an independent investigation concluded that the members of the club ignored claims that a former video coach had sexually assaulted former prospect Kyle Beach before being allowed to leave his position quietly and continue to victimize others.

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