The Pittsburgh Penguins have the negative spotlight upon them on Tuesday. Lawyers for former WBS Penguins assistant coach Jarrod Skalde and his wife Erin will hold a 2 p.m. press conference to announce plans to move forward with a second lawsuit against the organization for the alleged sexual assault by WBS Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli on Mrs. Skalde in Nov. 2018.
The Skadles are currently suing the Pittsburgh Penguins for terminating Jarrod during the pandemic. The second suit will be filed against the Penguins organization, owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, Bill Guerin (now the Minnesota Wild GM), and Donatelli.
The incident occurred during a road trip in Providence, Rhode Island. Lawyers for Skalde alleged in the first suit, which is still pending, that Donatelli demanded Mrs. Skalde sit in the backseat with him as the three drove from a restaurant to their hotel. Mr. Skalde returned to the restaurant to retrieve a personal item, at which time Donatelli allegedly sexually assaulted Mrs. Skalde.
Jarrod Skalde was unaware of the assault until later that night.
The first suit claims the Penguins dismissed Skalde because he reported the assault.
This second lawsuit is specifically regarding the assault.
As part of the second suit, the Skaldes will claim that Guerin told Jarrod to keep quiet, Erin was called a liar, and they were never interviewed as part of the investigation.
In a statement the Penguins released to Sportsnet, the Penguins said:
“We took this Wilkes-Barre/Scranton incident very seriously and acted immediately. The team investigated and addressed the alleged incident within hours of being notified in June 2019, despite the fact that Mr. Skalde delayed seven months before he reported the incident. Immediately upon receiving the report, a full investigation was conducted within 72 hours, and the former coach resigned from the organization. Following the report, Mr. Skalde continued to coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for an additional year until we made significant staff reductions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Erin Skalde’s lawyers will hold a Zoom press conference on Tuesday to detail the allegation, and a lawsuit will be filed in Rhode Island. On Sept. 30, a judge dismissed the Pittsburgh Penguins motion for arbitration instead of a jury trial.
UPDATE: Erin Skalde’s lawyer released an additional statement rather than a press conference on Tuesday:
“There has been a development in the case we will file on behalf of Erin Skalde for sexual assault by former WBS Penguins hockey coach Clark Donatelli. A second woman who detailed a similar assault by Donatelli on a different date and different time in a different location has retained our law firm. Our legal team is moving quickly to investigate those facts…”