Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

More sex abuse charges against N. Philly youth football coach

Leon Watson, 24, of Diamond Street near 24th
Leon Watson, 24, of Diamond Street near 24th

It was as investigators first feared: They've found more alleged victims of a North Philadelphia 'wannabe' youth neighborhood football coach already accused of molesting two young brothers.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said today it has charged Leon Watson, 24, with molesting three more boys plus one "intellectually disabled" man. Specifically it has charged Watson, of the 2400 block of W. Diamond Street, with rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and indecent assault on the newest alleged victims identified in the investigation.

Watson, a part-time coach for the Rhawnhurst Raiders tot football team, was first arrested Nov. 10 and charged with sexually assaulting two brothers, ages 8 and 9.

The charges announced today involve three other minor boys who played for the team. Investigators allege that the three boys frequently slept at Watson’s house where he molested them.

In all, that brings the total number of alleged victims to six.

Watson coached for the team from August until October. He then formed his own neighborhood team called the “Little Vicks.”

The District Attorney’s Office is asking that parents involved with either team - the Rhawnhurst Raiders or Little Vicks - to speak to their children about him in light of the investigation.

At the time of Watson's initial arrest, police said they feared there might be other victims.

The Daily News reported after his first arrest that Watson was often referred to by local kids as "coach" - a term he used to get close to young boys and sexually abuse them. Authorities learned of Watson through an anonymous tip.

Coaches with the Rhawnhurst Raiders have said Watson never really coached with the team. Instead, they say, he came to practice with two boys, who he was trying to get on to the team but couldn't because he didn't have their birth certificates. Watson helped out a "couple times" with drills, but was not known to the coaches.

Investigators ask anyone with information to call 9-1-1 or the Special Victim’s Unit at 215-685- 3251.


Contact Frank Kummer at 215-854-2329 or bmccrone@philly.com. Follow @frankkummer on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Frank Kummer PHILLY.COM
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