Robert Andrew Shaw was a respected baseball and hockey coach, a trusted family friend.
So when things got bad at home one day, a boy Shaw had befriended hopped on his 10-speed and rode to Shaw’s Wyandotte Street East apartment. It’s there that Shaw consoled the boy, fed him broccoli and cheese for dinner then allegedly made him strip naked and share a bed with him, Windsor’s Superior Court heard Tuesday.
Shaw, who turns 59 next month, is on trial charged with gross indecency for the alleged incident. He faces a similar count for another alleged incident in a motor home said to have taken place in 1980 at a baseball tournament in Kincardine.
At the trial Monday, a second alleged victim — a 40-year-old man — testified Shaw on three occasions forced anal intercourse on him as a child. Shaw is charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation for the incidents, alleged to have occurred in 1989.
A court order prohibits publication of any information that might identify Shaw’s accusers.
The 49-year-old man who testified at Shaw’s trial Tuesday said his former coach was loved by players and parents alike. Shaw was in his early 20s — younger than the other coaches — and, unlike other coaches, he didn’t have children on the teams he volunteered to help.
“He won the hearts of these people.”
The man said parents held a housewarming party for Shaw when he moved into his first home. They invited him to backyard barbecues among other social functions.
Shaw would wrestle with the boys, pinning them to the ground as he’d playfully slap their cheeks or tickle them. The horseplay was fun and made him feel special, Shaw’s accuser testified.
The man said his mother and overbearing dad would abuse alcohol and argue. He would climb onto the roof of St. John Vianney School and just sit and cry.
One day, he took refuge at Shaw’s apartment instead.
Shaw must have called the boy’s parents, because Shaw told the boy it would be OK for him to spend the night.
The man testified Shaw told him they would be sharing a bed and that they would both sleep naked. Shaw watched the boy undress before stripping down to nothing himself.
The boy awoke the next morning, Shaw never touching him.
The incident occurred in the late 1970s, the man testified. In cross-examination, defence lawyer Andrew Bradie rattled him on the year, suggesting Shaw didn’t live on Wyandotte until much later.
The man was adamant, however, that a second incident of nudity occurred in 1980 when he tagged along with his parents to a baseball tournament in Kincardine. His parents, Shaw and other families — 15 people in all — drove to Kincardine in a borrowed motor home.
His parents had a hotel room, but he slept in the motor home with Shaw. One night, after Shaw had slipped him beers throughout the day, Shaw woke him up in the middle of the night to talk about sex.
The man said Shaw commented about the daughters of parents on the trip. “It was really crass,” he said. “It was tasteless. These parents loved him.”
Shaw began goading the boy, teasing him about his inexperience with sex. “Then he starts with, ‘Let me see it.’”
Shaw “pestered” him until the boy got out of his bunk above the cab, pulled down the front of his boxer shorts and showed Shaw his penis.
Shaw told the boy to come closer, but the boy refused, climbing back into bed alone.
The man told police about the incidents after reading news reports about Shaw’s 2014 arrest.
Shaw’s lawyer told the court Tuesday he will move to have the gross indecency charges withdrawn.