With the plea, Oliva admits that on a trip to Boston in 1976 he molested Jimmy Carlino, who was 14 at the time. The plea deal means Oliva will spend no time in jail. Last year, Oliva was indicted on two counts of rape of a child, and if found guilty faced two life sentences in prison.
The guilty plea will, however, require Oliva to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment, as well as wear a GPS device and give up coaching.
It's a long fall from grace for Oliva, who was one of the biggest names in the world of New York City basketball. Oliva used his contacts in the world of youth basketball to bring some of the brightest talent to play at Christ the King High School in Middle Village.
Many of his players went on to play Division I NCAA basketball, and some - including Jayson Williams and Lamar Odem - went on to play in the NBA. He coached Christ the King to four CHSAA Class AA intersectional titles and was inducted in the school's Hall of Fame.
If the abuse on Carlino had occurred in New York, the statute of limitations would have long ago run out, sparing Oliva from facing criminal charges. But under Massachusetts law, the statute of limitations clock stops ticking once the perpetrator leaves the state, paving the way for Oliva's indictment.
Carlino has since filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against Oliva, the Catholic Youth Organization, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and Christ the King, charging that the latter three failed to prevent the abuse and protect Carlino from a sexual predator.
Just before Oliva's guilty plea, New York magazine ran a lengthy piece on Oliva, in which other former players came forward and said that Oliva also molested them, as well as took them to prostitutes as a reward for playing well. While, again due to the statute of limitations, it is unlikely that Oliva will face additional criminal charges, it could leave Oliva and the school open to further civil lawsuits.
Christ the King did not return calls seeking comment.