A high school coach accused of sexually assaulting one of his players appeared in court on Thursday for the first time since his arrest.
Louis Spadaccini, a baseball coach at Sts. Neumann and Goretti High School in South Philadelphia, was arrested on September 19 for allegedly bringing a 14-year-old boy to the Holiday Inn on Packer Avenue and giving him beer and prescription drugs.
He was then re-arrested the next day after police say another one of his players, a 13-year-old boy, accused him of sexual assault. The second victim claimed Spadaccini gave him alcohol and had sexual contact with him on three different occasions this past summer, twice at the Holiday Inn on Packer Avenue and once at Spadaccini’s home in South Philadelphia.
Spadaccini faced a judge on Thursday at Family Court while the families of the two alleged victims were present.
The coach waived his right to what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing, turning Thursday’s court appearance into a bail hearing. Because of this, the state did not have to call the two alleged victims to testify and lay out their case for the court.
Spadaccini’s lawyer asked the judge to lower his bond from $2 million, claiming his client didn’t have enough to pay for it. The lawyer also claimed the bond was too high and a result of the fact that Spadaccini used to work as a court employee. The judge was not swayed however and maintained the high bond.
“We’re very pleased with the judge’s decision,” said Prosecutor Branwen McNabb. “This was a case that really required the defendant to have very high bail. These victims were extremely courageous in coming forward. Based on their courage we were able to have the defendant arrested and prevent him from hurting any more children.”
“What is true is that he was a hell of a baseball coach,” said defense attorney Tariq Karim El-Shabazz. “He was a hell of a judicial officer. He helped a lot of people, a lot of kids, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of children. That’s true.”
In an ironic twist, while working as a court officer, Spadaccini sat in a pretrial room for all sexual assault cases.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
He will be back in court for an arraignment next month. A decision will then be made on whether the case will head to trial.