Rhawnhurst Raiders coach arrested for child molestation

Le­on Wat­son

A vo­lun­teer foot­ball coach for the Rhawn­hurst Raid­ers was ar­res­ted last week for sexu­ally as­sault­ing two boys re­peatedly in his North Phil­adelphia home.

Au­thor­it­ies have not iden­ti­fied a link between the two known vic­tims, who are broth­ers ages 8 and 9, and the Rhawn­hurst foot­ball pro­gram, but the coach may have vic­tim­ized oth­er youths, ac­cord­ing to a prin­ted state­ment by the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

Le­on Wat­son, 24, of the 2400 block of W. Dia­mond St., has been charged with mul­tiple counts of rape, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ant sexu­al in­ter­course, false im­pris­on­ment, en­dan­ger­ing chil­dren and nu­mer­ous re­lated of­fenses.

Ac­cord­ing to the DA’s of­fice, Wat­son de­veloped a per­son­al re­la­tion­ship with the vic­tims, as­saul­ted both and com­pelled them to move in­to his home in Oc­to­ber. The pro­sec­utor did not dis­close how the crimes came to light, stat­ing only that an an­onym­ous tip led them to ar­rest Wat­son.

Wat­son served as a “part-time coach” for the Raid­ers from Au­gust to Oc­to­ber. He had also formed a youth foot­ball team in his own neigh­bor­hood, call­ing them the “Little Vicks,” ac­cord­ing to the DA. Au­thor­it­ies have asked to speak to par­ents in­volved with either team to find out about any oth­er as­saults.

Wat­son is jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail and is sched­uled for a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing on Nov. 25. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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