A man who is allegedly an Oregon youth basketball coach was arrested under extremely disturbing circumstances when he was found to be holding a teen against his will and allegedly whipping him violently with a belt and photographing him in the nude.
As reported by Portland TV network KGW, 54-year-old Portland native Leslie Lewis was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree criminal mistreatment, using a child in display of sexually explicit content, and interfering with a making a police report, among a handful of other charges.
The criminal case against the man who claims to be a basketball coach is related to an incident in which he was forcibly keeping a 13-year-old in his house against the boy's will, allegedly photographing him naked and whipping him shortly thereafter. When Lewis' neighbors noticed the young boy attempting to escape from Lewis' house, they asked the man in his mid-50s what was going on, and he replied that he was just having a "spat with my friend."
It was then that one neighbor reportedly heard the teen screaming for his life while wearing only a pair of underwear.
"Help me ... get me out ... let me go," KGW reported that one 911 responder heard the boy yelling in the background of the call which reported the incident.
While background reference checks determined that Lewis had a past criminal history, his claim that he was a youth basketball coach remained unverified by the Portland network. Lewis claimed to be involved with an organization called Above the Rim basketball, which he claimed was based in Portland. Yet there is no such registered organization in Oregon, and the only Above the Rim league in the Pacific Northwest, based in Seattle, denied any knowledge of Lewis.
That raises the possibility that the middle-aged man was using the claim of being a youth basketball coach as part of a faux rationalization for why he could have conceivably had a young boy in his house. The possibility of an absolute lack of youth basketball experience nothwithstanding, Portland officials are reportedly engaged in a thorough investigation to determine if any other young boys were targeted, abused or otherwise impacted by the man who still insists that he is a basketball coach.
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