Youth football coach faces additional charges

The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s of­fice filed new child sex ab­use charges on Tues­day against a youth foot­ball coach who pre­vi­ously was ar­res­ted last month on al­leg­a­tions he raped two boys.

Au­thor­it­ies now claim that Le­on Wat­son, 24, of the 2400 block of W. Dia­mond St., sexu­ally as­saul­ted five boys in all as well as an “in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled” man. Al­though the at­tacks al­legedly oc­curred in­side Wat­son’s North Philly home and tar­geted boys from that neigh­bor­hood, Wat­son also had a con­nec­tion to the North­east as a part-time coach with the Rhawn­hurst Raid­ers from Au­gust to Oc­to­ber this year, the DA’s of­fice said.

An an­onym­ous tip triggered the ini­tial in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to Wat­son, ac­cord­ing to the DA. On Nov. 10, au­thor­it­ies ar­res­ted Wat­son for al­legedly ab­us­ing two broth­ers, ages 8 and 9, who played for a North Philly based team foun­ded by Wat­son called the “Little Vicks.” Wat­son ini­tially was charged with rape, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ant sexu­al in­ter­course, false im­pris­on­ment, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, en­dan­ger­ing chil­dren and nu­mer­ous oth­er of­fenses.

Fol­low­ing the ar­rest, au­thor­it­ies re­ceived sev­er­al more com­plaints about Wat­son from oth­er pos­sible vic­tims. Much like the first two vic­tims, the three ad­di­tion­al youth vic­tims re­por­ted that they had played for the Little Vicks and had stayed at Wat­son’s house on mul­tiple oc­ca­sions. Wat­son al­legedly as­saul­ted the boys dur­ing the slee­p­overs.

The DA’s Of­fice provided no de­tails on the cir­cum­stances of the as­sault in­volving the dis­abled man.

Rhawn­hurst Raid­ers rep­res­ent­at­ives have said that Wat­son was nev­er an of­fi­cial coach with the pro­gram, al­though he had brought a couple of youths to team prac­tices and had par­ti­cip­ated in team drills.

The in­vest­ig­a­tion is on­go­ing, ac­cord­ing to the DA’s Of­fice. Any­one in­volved with the Raid­ers or the Little Vicks who may have in­form­a­tion about Wat­son is asked to call po­lice at 215-685-3251. ••

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