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“Revered” Philadelphia coach charged with sex abuse of teen

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No one saw the charges of sex abuse coming. Not Louis Spadaccini's neighbors, who have been known to have their kids play sports in the street with him. Certainly none of the Philadelphia (Penn.) Neumann-Goretti High administration or parents. It seems none of the players who weren't affected, had any idea, either.

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Neumann-Goretti baseball coach Louis Spadaccini, who was charged with sex abuse

Neumann-Goretti baseball coach Louis Spadaccini, who was charged with sex abuse

Instead, everyone thought the Neumann-Goretti baseball coach who lived with his retired parents was the model citizen, active in the community, responsible with regard to his 7-year-old son and "revered" and "admired" on the campus where he has coached for the past five years.

All that goodwill and trust went up in smoke when allegations surfaced that Spadaccini took a 14-year-old Neumann-Goretti student to a South Philadelphia Holiday Inn and plied him with alcohol and a Xanax pill. Police expect that Spadaccini was using the alcohol and drugs as a way to coax him into sexual activity.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a day after Spadaccini's arrest following his most recent incident, a 13-year-old boy came forward and announced that he and Spadaccini had engaged in sexual activity three times in the recent past. After the 13-year-old's claims, Spadaccini was handed charges of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor.

Even if he is cleared, it seems unlikely that Spadaccini would be allowed to return to Neumann-Goretti as a coach, and while his case is ongoing he has been suspended from his full time job as a court crier without pay.

"Everyone was always comfortable with Lou," Alex Butler, one of Spadaccini's former players and a resident of his neighborhood told the Inquirer. "And Lou was always comfortable with the team.

"They want to believe Lou because he was such a nice guy. But now they don't know what to believe."

Neumann-Goretti's president echoed those sentiments, saying that the school's general community had entered a period of radio silence about the allegations in part because no one saw the incident coming.

There must be some sense of shared blame, because he was so trusted by everyone," Neumann-Goretti president John Murawski told the Inquirer.

Now the Catholic school will try to move on, all while wondering if the allegations being made about a significant part of its athletic community could possibly be true.

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