Youth soccer coach accused of sex abuse appears in court - KPTV - FOX 12

Youth soccer coach accused of sex abuse out of jail

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Joseph Leonetti Joseph Leonetti

A youth soccer coach accused of sexually abusing one of his players was arraigned on four counts of first-degree sex abuse.

Appearing via video, Joseph Leonetti wore a suicide prevention smock during his brief court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Family members and supporters sat in two rows in the courtroom.

According to court documents, Leonetti touched the girl inappropriately between Aug. 1, 2012 and Dec. 1, 2012.

Leonetti coached the girl on one of the Eastside Timbers club soccer teams, but the sex abuse is not alleged to have occurred during soccer-related functions, according to club President Butch Pollard.

"I think the world of Joey. Like I said, it's really hard for me to believe," Pollard said. "Because again, I saw nothing inappropriate ever. Nothing."

Pollard coached the girl with Leonetti during the 2011-2012 season.

Pollard said he is withholding judgment about the allegations.

"I look at this thing as so incredibly tragic because you're taking two really great families and here they are in the midst of hell," he said.

Pollard said Leonetti stepped down from his coaching position after being contacted by Clackamas County detectives.

He said the soccer club conducts yearly background checks of coaches, managers and staff members, as well as prohibiting players from being alone with one adult.

Leonetti has a lengthy history of coaching girls soccer, including coaching the West Linn High School girls soccer team from 1997 to 2006.

He played soccer for the University of Portland and played at the professional level, including stints on the U.S. Men's National Team in the 1990s.

Leonetti also appeared on KPTV as a soccer analyst.

A judge lowered Leonetti's bail to $250,000, down from $1.25 million. He posted bail Thursday evening and was released from jail

Anyone who may have information about suspicious activity involving Leonetti is asked to call the sheriff's office tip line at 503-723-4949.

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