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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A former Pennsylvania basketball coach has pleaded guilty to raping two teenage girls.

Fifty-one-year-old Ralph Ruprecht faces up to 16 years in prison and 20 years of probation after pleading guilty to rape and sexual assault charges Wednesday in Allegheny County.

Ruprecht coached a traveling team for high school-aged girls based in Ambridge, in neighboring Beaver County.

Both former players testified they were 15 when Ruprecht began texting them, arraigning to meet and force them into sex acts. One of the victims testified Ruprecht would punch and choke her to force compliance.

Ruprecht was arrested last year. Jury selection for his trial had been slated to begin Tuesday. He said he pleaded guilty instead because he committed the crimes.

He was sentenced to serve eight to 16 years in prison.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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