PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former youth basketball coach is headed to trial on charges he sexually assaulted two teenage girls. One of the girls testified Friday, she also claims to have suffered physical abuse.
The first victim, a 16-year-old, stood only a few feet from 50-year-old Ralph Richard Ruprecht as she spoke nervously about their alleged sexual encounters. She said they met on the internet and began texting when she was 15. It wasn’t long afterwards that he would pick her up and go to a Strip District apartment to have sex.
She said sometimes other men would join in the acts. Other times she testified that Ruprecht would force himself on her when she didn’t cooperate.
“These kind of cases are very fact intensive, there were a lot of facts testified to that were very suspect and quite frankly didn’t make sense,” defense attorney Steve Townsend said.
A second victim, now 18, said she met Ruprecht on the internet through someone who claimed she was his sister. She told the court they had sex during their first encounter and that another man was also involved. She also claimed that Ruprecht hit her on more than one occasion when she refused to cooperate.
“The testimony I heard was that there was force, and threats of force and injuries that occurred on the first occasion. So I’m not sure why an individual would come back to that location, or introduce one of your friends to someone who physically or sexually abused you,” Townsend said
Ruprecht’s attorney admits that under the law it doesn’t matter if the sex was consensual because both teens were under age. But he says they plan to fight the charges in court.
“It is telling that we have two young females who are purposefully engaging in sex at all hours of the morning, coming from different parts of the city or county, doesn’t sense to me,” Townsend said.