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Ex-coach accused of molestation

March 20. 2013 11:56PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Former Holy Redeemer head football coach Joseph Ostrowski is facing charges he molested a young football player inside the school in early 2012.

Luzerne County detectives charged Ostrowski, 29, of Wilkes-Barre, with indecent assault, corruption of minors and photographing a sex act involving a minor. The charges were filed with District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

A young football player told investigators he was inside the school lifting weights when Ostrowski told him to go into the coaches’ locker room. The boy said Ostrowski wanted him to get fitted for a girdle, an undergarment that holds pads under football pants.

While inside the locker room, the boy alleged, Ostrowski molested him and took a picture with a cellphone of him naked, according to the criminal complaint.

The boy said the molestation occurred on a Friday, but could not recall the exact date.

Ostrowski was questioned about the allegations on Feb. 25. He allegedly admitted to molesting the boy and using a cellphone to take a picture of the naked boy, the complaint says.

In response to the news of more charges against Ostrowski, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton released this statement:

“The thought that a minor, of 13 years of age, could be molested in a setting that is intended to serve as a safe, nurturing environment for our children angers me personally and is deeply disturbing for the pain it inflicts upon an innocent victim, his family, our school community and the community at large. We remain grateful for the tireless efforts of law enforcement to continue its investigation into these criminal, crude and immoral acts. We will continue to collaborate with them in order to do all that we can to ensure our schools are safe environments for the children and young adults entrusted to our care.”

Ostrowski was arrested in May after federal authorities said he posed as a female on the social networking site Facebook to trick a teenage boy from Wilkes-Barre into emailing nude photos of himself, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Scranton. He also was indicted by a federal grand jury in Michigan of cyberstalking, which has been transferred to Pennsylvania for prosecution.

Federal authorities alleged Ostrowski solicited and attempted to produce child pornography and was involved in extorting his victims, both adults and children, in 14 states by exposing sexually explicit videos from 2006 through May.

Ostrowski pleaded guilty in federal court in January to producing and attempting to produce child pornography, interstate extortion and cyberstalking. A sentencing date has not been scheduled in federal court.

He faces 25 years in prison under the terms of the plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ostrowski remains in federal custody.

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