Mr. Tom Nibbio
Diocese of St. Petersburg/Lay Teacher
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Mr. Tom Nibbio:
Mr. Tom Nibbio was a lay teacher at Clearwater Central Catholic High School within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Once considered among the top high school soccer coaches in the nation, in 1985, Nibbio was ordered never to coach at Florida schools again after pleading no contest to molesting students while massaging their muscle injuries.
The coach was initially charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. His plea was entered to a felony charge of handling and fondling a child younger than 14 and three misdemeanor counts of committing unnatural and lascivious acts. The felony charge carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
The students claim the abuse occurred in the fall of 1983, but they didn’t report it until 1984 because they were embarrassed, police said. Nibbio resigned in December of 1984, two days before he was arrested.
Another 15-year-old male victim came forward alleging Nibbio sexually abused him while attending a soccer clinic conducted by the Nibbio in July 28 or 29, 1986. The reports claim that Nibbio “fondled the buttocks” of the victim; the second count alleged that the defendant “knowingly committed an act of sexual conduct” with the victim in that the defendant “touched his sex organ to the back” of the victim.
According to various media reports, Tom Nibbio relocated to Chicago and became head soccer coach after he resigned in Florida. In 1990, Tom Nibbio left as head coach as the Triton College soccer team to become an assistant coach and trainer with the Rockford-based Illinois Thunder of the National Professional Soccer League. His current whereabouts are unknown.
He is listed on the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s 2016 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
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