'Coach Lou' admits he sexually assaulted teen

"Coach Lou" Spadaccini
"Coach Lou" Spadaccini
Posted: September 28, 2012

LOUIS SPADACCINI, who once assisted judges in Philadelphia courtrooms and coached the boys' baseball team at a Catholic high school, became a convicted felon Wednesday after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting one of his teen players and getting another high.

The crimes, which took place last year at a South Philadelphia Holiday Inn and at Spadaccini's Iseminger Street home near Oregon Avenue, shocked the Criminal Justice Center, where he had worked since 1998, and Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School, where he had been known as "Coach Lou" since 2006.

The negotiated guilty plea calls for Spadaccini to be sentenced to 12 to 24 years in state prison, followed by five years' probation and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender.

"We have two very brave and courageous young men," said Assistant District Attorney Branwen McNabb. "Thanks to their courage and strength, we were able to get a very dangerous individual away from society."

Spadaccini, through defense attorney Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, initially indicated that he would fight the charges. El-Shabazz had called Spadaccini "an innocent man" when his client waived his right to a preliminary hearing, but the lawyer declined to comment Wednesday.

After Spadaccini's arrest last September, an investigation "produced overwhelming evidence of guilt," McNabb said.

The father of one of his young victims called Spadaccini a "crumb" as he was led from the courtroom. The mother of the other victim said she was proud of her son and relieved that a trial had been averted with the guilty plea.

"I'm just glad that it's all over with, for now," she said, noting that the formal sentencing hearing will be in January.

Though Spadaccini has been in jail for a year because he is unable to pay 10 percent of a $2 million bail, Common Pleas Judge Ronald Nagle revoked that bail at the prosecutor's request.


Contact Mensah M. Dean at deanm@phillynews.com or 215-568-8278. Follow him on Twitter @MensahDean.

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