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Molestation, Child Porn Charges Filed Against Former Coach

WILKES-BARRE – Authorities in Luzerne County said the former Holy Redeemer High School football coach was charged Wednesday morning with indecent assault, corruption of minors and manufacturing child pornography.

According to court documents, Joseph Ostrowski, 29, of Wilkes-Barre is accused of molesting a male student inside the locker room of the high school sometime between March and May in 2012.

In the criminal complaint, Luzerne County detectives and state troopers said they interviewed the alleged victim one week before Ostrowski pleaded guilty to federal child pornography and cyber stalking charges in January.

The former coach was accused of an online “sextortion” case from 2006 to 2012 with victims in several states and will be sentenced to serve a maximum of 25 years in a prison after pleading guilty to the federal charges earlier this year.

Parents and grandparents waiting to pick up students during dismissal at Holy Redeemer High School Wednesday afternoon told Newswatch 16 that it’s difficult to explain the latest allegations against the former coach to the kids.

“It`s disgusting. They have to get stronger laws and do something about it,” said Jean Harris. “It`s just going too far. It`s rampant. These poor kids suffer through a lot.”

“‘It just keeps coming up. What if some other kids come up,” said John Furman. “It`s terrible; very bad.”

Ostrowski is being held in the Columbia County Jail waiting to be sentenced on the federal charges, but Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said the former coach is expected to be arraigned on the new charges at a magistrate’s office in Wilkes-Barre Thursday afternoon.

Officials at the Diocese of Scranton said Ostrowski was hired as the football coach at Holy Redeemer High School for the 2011 season, but was terminated on May 7, 2012 when school administrators were notified about a criminal investigation.

In a written statement released Wednesday afternoon, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton said “The thought that a minor… 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.”


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