The leader of a Philadelphia youth skateboarding club is accused of sexually assaulting two boys.
Rodney Watkins, 52, was arrested and charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and other related offenses.
Watkins, a founder of “Powerfulnailya,” a skateboarding equipment company, allegedly sexually assaulted two boys, ages 11 and 12, between 2011 and 2012. The assaults occurred at Watkins’ home during sleepovers and in a hotel room during a trip out of state, investigators said.
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The two victims told police they met Watkins while they were kids at playgrounds where skateboarders met up in Philadelphia. One victim said he was a member of a skateboarding team that “Powerfulnailya” sponsored while the second said he was invited to travel with the team and was offered meals and gifts from Watkins.
The victims said they interacted with Watkins at several locations, including POPS Skatepark at Trenton and Hazard streets, Whitehall Skatepark at Torresdale Avenue and Wakeling Street and Paine’s Park near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Watkins also traveled with the teams to skateboarding competitions in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Maine, investigators said.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and police are encouraging anyone with more information on Watkins to call the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or the Philadelphia police anonymous tip line at 215-686-TIPS.
“My office will do everything in our authority to seek justice for these two young men who endured horrific abuse at the hands of an adult when they were children,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
“Reporting child sexual assault is often a re-traumatizing experience; we will also do everything we can to ensure they receive appropriate support throughout the criminal prosecution process.”