NBCPhiladelphia.com - Rosemary Connors, Brian Grob
William Rhoads, 70, coached youth baseball for about 30 years. But the league he volunteered for cut him off after learning about allegations that Rhoads raped four young boys.
A retired teacher and trusted youth baseball coach was arrested after he allegedly raped four young boys at his home.
William Rhoads of Phoenixville, Pa. was behind bars Monday on $5 million bail after he allegedly raped boys from 2005 to this year. The boys ranged from 4 to 11 years old, according to the Chester County District Attorney.
Rhodes is well known in the Chester County community, he was a youth baseball coach at the Kimberton Youth Athletic League and he is a retired physics teacher at all-girls Villa Maria Academy in Malvern, Pa.
It is believed that Rhoads coached one of the victims in the league.
Rich Sim, the President of Kimberton Youth Athletic League stated that Rhodes was removed from coaching in the league Monday:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Coach Rhoads is banned from the league."
Villa Maria’s principal Sister Marita Carmel sent a letter home to parents:
“We have just learned that William Rhoads, a former teacher, has been charged and arrested for multiple sex crimes against children. Since we have already been contacted by the media, we want to allay any concern this news may cause our parents and alumnae. We have been informed by the Chester County authorities that the victims of the alleged crimes were not female.
We were not aware that Mr. Rhoads was under investigation and we are devastated by the news. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our students. In the time that Mr. Rhoads taught Physics here at Villa Maria Academy (1992-2006) the required clearances were in order.”
Police don't have reason to believe any victims came from that school, they said.
Chester County detectives first suspected Rhoads after they received a complaint about the man on September 9, they said.
Detectives were disturbed by what they found when they searched Rhoads’ Maryhill Road home Sunday after taking the 70-year-old into custody.
They recovered multiple videotapes, some of which showed the sexual acts described by the children, said 1st Assistant District Attorney Patrick Carmody.
All together Rhoads faces hundreds of counts including rape of a child (40 counts), involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child (40 counts), aggravated indecent assault (40 counts), indecent assault (40 counts), endangering welfare of children (4 counts), corruption of minors (4 counts), sexual abuse of children-manufacture of child pornography (60 counts), and sexual abuse of children -- possession of child pornography (60 counts). .
The whole incident shocked neighbors in Rhoads’ Phoenixville community.
“You have to be aware of what’s around you and… always do your homework,” said Kyle Flickinger. “Do the best you can and don't let your kids out of your sight.”