UPDATED: 1:41 p.m.
Christian Bedard, the target of an investigation by the Southington Police Department, released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
"I have been openly gay for most of my adult life. For years, my physical high school relationship with Carl Pavano has been well-known to my close friends and family. Carl Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, contacted me on Facebook asking under what conditions would I not talk about my relationship with Carl.
I stated to Ms. DeGennaro that I wanted an apology from Carl for how he treated me at the end of our relationship and, expressly in jest, a Range Rover SUV. I did not attempt to extort money from Carl Pavano. My local police department is in possession of the transcript of my Facebook exchange with Ms. DeGennaro, including my express language indicating to Ms. DeGennaro that my Range Rover comments were made in jest.
I have not been charged with any crime I will allow my local police department to conclude their investigation and I will have no further comment."
Family members of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Carl Pavano told detectives that former classmate Christian Bedard used Facebook to harass Pavano’s sister and threatened to release personal information regarding the MLB star if he did not provide Bedard with a navy Range Rover, according to a search warrant released this week.
The warrant, released through Bristol Superior Court, claims Bedard, a Southington resident, targeted the MLB star starting in late 2011 following a series of harassing messages posted to the Facebook wall of Pavano’s 42-year-old sister, Michelle DeGennaro, and threatened to publish a tell-all book alleging Pavano was gay if he did not receive proper compensation.
“Messages posted by Bedard demanded that Pavano pay a substantial amount of money to Bedard or he would reveal personal information about Pavano to the Mass Media,” Southington police officer Gerald Triano wrote in the warrant.
Information regarding the active investigation came to light late last week when officers at Bedard’s Hunting Hill Drive home on March 21.
Officers collected evidence including a laptop computer and a personal journal from Bedard, who later wrote on his Facebook page that he felt violated. Bedard is the son of police commissioner and Southington Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Elaine Bedard.
No arrests have been made in the case, although the warrant states that police are determining whether Bedard’s behavior would justify pressing charges for second-degree harassment and/or first-degree larceny.
According to the warrant, DeGennaro first filed a complaint with the in December, after she received numerous messages from Bedard, 36, on her Facebook wall after he refused to leave her alone. The communication from Bedard, which began on Dec. 18, 2011, demanded “closure” from Pavano.
During a two-week period before she contacted police, DeGennaro allegedly made several requests for Bedard to cease contact with her, but Bedard refused. The warrant includes six separate messages delivered by Bedard through the social networking site.
In the first message, Bedard tells DeGennaro that he had “an underground” sexual relationship with Pavano that started when the two were 14 years old and lasted for three years. In the message, he also claims Pavano was his first love.
Phone and email messages left with both Pavano’s agent Tom O’Connell and public relations staff with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday evening and again Wednesday morning were not returned.
DeGennaro told police the information is false, according to the warrant. She could not be reached by phone Thursday and no one was present at her Southington home. Pavano’s parents, Carmen and Anne Pavano, have declined comment.
Bedard, who is openly gay and expressed so in the messages provided in the warrant, has declined to comment on the case.
“I have seriously juicy book offers to the point that the only way your brother is getting out of this is with a heartfelt apology and a navy range Rover with tan leather. If I am going to drop a $1.2 million book deal I want something,” Bedard wrote, according to the warrant.
Bedard said on his Facebook page last week that he wanted police to arrest him so his story could be told. He said in a post on the social media site that all he is really seeking is closure after he believes Pavano mistreated him when the relationship ended.
Pavano and Bedard were classmates together at Southington High School in the early 1990s. Pavano excelled as a baseball player at the school and eventually went on to sign a $40 million major league contract with the New York Yankees.
He is scheduled as the opening day starter for the Twins when they take on the Baltimore Orioles on April 6.
Police said Thursday that the investigation is ongoing and an arrest does not appear imminent at this time. Sgt. Lowell DePalma said the department could not comment further on an open investigation.
“We are aware of the information that is out there now, but because our investigation is ongoing, we can not elaborate on it at this time,” said Sgt. Lowell DePalma, Southington police spokesman. “It does not appear that the release of this information is affecting the case.”
Details in the warrant also indicate that the harassment extended beyond a demand for money and that Christian Bedard used his mother’s position in town government to threaten DeGennaro as well.
The warrant states that Bedard, in a later Facebook message, told DeGennaro that Elaine Bedard would use her power to have DeGennaro arrested. Christian Bedard also suggested to DeGennaro that the department had an open investigation against her.
Elaine Bedard has the authority to make personnel decisions within the department as an appointed police commissioner, but the day-to-day operations fall under the purview of Police Chief Jack Daly.
Police said this week that Elaine Bedard has made no effort to contact officers involved in this investigation and has not made any inquiries regarding either her son or DeGennaro. DePalma said Elaine Bedard is also not considered a part of the open investigation.
Christian Bedard has a history of alcohol-related arrests, including convictions on two counts of driving under the influence, breach of peace and third-degree burglary between 2002 and early 2011.