Philly Skate Coach Charged With Child Rape.

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 2, 2020) — The District Attorney’s Office (DAO) and Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) on Wednesday announced charges against Rodney Watkins (DOB: 10/11/1968), a founder of the “Powerfulnailya” skateboarding club, for the rape and sexual assault of minors.

The alleged incidents occurred around 2011 and 2012 when the two victims were 11 or 12 years old. The DAO and PPD are encouraging members of the public who are aware of information relating to Mr. Watkins to contact the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215–685–3251 or call the PPD anonymous tip line at 215–686-TIPS.

“My office will do everything in our authority to seek justice for these two young men who endured horrific abuse at the hands of an adult when they were children. Reporting child sexual assault is often a re-traumatizing experience; we will also do everything we can to ensure they receive appropriate support throughout the criminal prosecution process,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Victims of and witnesses to sexual assault: Please know you are not alone. We at the Philadelphia DAO and our partners are here for you.”

“We are working closely with the District Attorney’s Office to assist in bringing justice to these victims,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “If you are a survivor of assault by this individual, or if you have information about someone who was, we are asking that you consider reaching out to our Special Victims Unit. Our detectives will work diligently to ensure that you are given a voice and a chance for justice.”

Both complainants reported the rapes and sexual assaults as adults. Both described meeting Watkins when they were minors at playgrounds in Philadelphia where skateboarders congregate, and of being told that he owned a skateboarding equipment company called Powerfulnailya that sponsored youth skateboarding teams.

The complainants reported interacting with Watkins at locations including POPS Skatepark at Trenton and Hazzard streets, Whitehall Skatepark at Torresdale Avenue and Wakeling Street, and Paine’s Park near the Art Museum. Watkins is also alleged to have traveled with the teams to skateboarding competitions in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine.

Watkins is alleged to have provided meals and travel for members of the Powerfulnailya-sponsored skateboarding teams, as well as friends of team members. One complainant was a member of a skateboarding team. The other was not a member, but was invited to travel with the team and was also offered meals and gifts from Watkins. The assaults are alleged to have occurred at Watkins’ home during sleepovers and in a hotel room during an out-of-state trip.

Watkins has been charged with two counts each of Rape of a Child (F1), Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (F1), Unlawful Contact with a Minor (F1), and related charges. At the Commonwealth’s request, following a pre-trial conference hearing before the Hon. Robert Coleman this week, Watkins was ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors. Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Freeman further requested that Watkins be ordered to stay away from skate parks; that motion will be heard on January 26, 2021, with the defendant present.