NBC10.com - Nefertit Jaquez
Police say Leon Watson used his position as a youth football coach to prey on children. He's charged with raping 2 young boys inside his home. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez reports.
Prosecutors say a part-time Philadelphia youth football coach charged with raping two young boys had other victims.
Twenty-four-year-old Leon Watson faces charges including rape, unlawful restraint and child endangerment.
Officials say Watson was a part-time coach for the Rhawnhurst Raiders football team and met the 8-year-old and 9-year-old boys he's accused of assaulting and their mother through the team.
Sources close to the investigation tell NBC10 that the mother and boys were homeless and moved into Watson's home along the 2400 block of W. Diamond Street in North Philadelphia in October. It was inside that home where the alleged rapes took place.
The 24-year-old also formed his own neighborhood football team, called the "Little Vicks," which had a roster filled with North Philadelphia kids.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said a prosecutor successfully argued at a hearing Monday for Watson to be held without bail while charges could be filed against him in three to five new cases.
The prosecutor also said Watson has a juvenile rap sheet that includes multiple sex crimes.
"He seemed like he was a nice person. Trying to help the kids. Keeps the young boys off the street, playing football," said Marcella Frisby, who lives next-door to Watson.
Frisby, a young mother, said she was always suspicious of Watson and kept her distance -- not allowing her kids to join his team.
"He asked me for my kids to be on his team. What if we would have trusted him," she asked.
Troy Barton, the father of a player on the Rhawnhurst Raiders, says Watson was less of a coach and more of a volunteer.
"I have seen him up here a couple of time, but again, he's not affiliated with the organization. He didn't give directives to the children," he said.
Watson is charged with Rape, Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse (IDSI), False Imprisonment, Unlawful Restraint, Endangering the Welfare of a Child (EWOC), Corruption of Minors, Indecent Exposure, Indecent Assault, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person (REAP).