Former youth football coach charged with sex assault

A former youth football coach in Bucks County is facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting three juveniles.

Shannon Westmoreland, who also goes by Shawn, was taken into custody Wednesday in the assaults, which occurred over more than a decade, Bensalem Township police said.

Westmoreland, 47, was a football coach with the Bensalem Ramblers Athletic Association at the time of at least one of the attacks. It wasn’t immediately clear how long he coached for the group, or whether any of the victims were connected to the association.

Shannon Westmoreland

Authorities disclosed few details about the crimes.

A 15-year-old victim was assaulted in 2005, when Westmoreland coached for the football association, police said.

Another victim was assaulted over several years, when she was between the ages of 4 and 9 or 10. Police didn’t say what years those attacks took place.

The third victim was first assaulted as a 6-year-old in 1999, and again when she was 18, in 2011, police said.

At a news conference, Fred Harran, Bensalem’s public safety director, described Westmoreland as “repeatedly raping” the victims.

He is facing charges that include rape, indecent assault, and statutory sexual assault.

Westmoreland was arraigned Wednesday night and was being held on $300,000 bail, officials said.

Police began investigating him in October, when one of the victims reported to authorities that Westmoreland had sexually assaulted her several times years ago, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.

Police and prosecutors said they were concerned there could be other victims, and anyone with information can call Bensalem police at 215-633-3719.