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The Philadelphia Inquirer

A North Philadelphia youth football coach has been charged by a Philadelphia grand jury with sexually assaulting five boys and an intellectually disabled adult, the District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

Leon Watson, 24, was charged with 55 counts, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, child endangerment, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, terroristic threats, and human trafficking.

Watson was arrested Nov. 10, based on an anonymous tip, and charged with raping two children, both players on his Little Vicks neighborhood football team. In December, prosecutors added charges involving three additional boys and a disabled man.

Assistant District Attorney Branwen McNabb said all the victims were associated with Watson's team.

Watson was supposed to have had a preliminary hearing Jan. 8 in Family Court, but it was canceled when prosecutors took the case to the grand jury. The grand jury enables prosecutors to obtain testimony from children and vulnerable victims in secret without the added trauma of facing the alleged assailant in a public courtroom.

McNabb said Watson, who was in custody with bail set at $250,000, would be formally arraigned on the charges Feb. 24.

The Inquirer reported in November that Watson had been arrested five times as a teenager for sex assaults.

Authorities allege that three victims in the current case slept over and were assaulted in Watson's house in the 2400 block of West Diamond Street.

jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

www.inquirer.com/

 

February 5, 2014

 

 
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