Girls' basketball coach charged with rape, accused of having sex with teens

Girls’ basketball coach charged with rape, accused of having sex with teens

PITTSBURGH — A girls’ basketball coach is accused of having sex with teenage girls and forcing them to have sex with other men.

Ralph Ruprecht, 50, is facing charges including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, sexual exploitation of children and indecent assault.

Two juvenile girls told police they both started talking to Ruprecht after getting his phone number from other girls. They then met him in person, with the intention of having sex.

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According to the criminal complaint, they would meet Ruprecht at an apartment in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. Other men around his age would be there, as well.

The girls told police they did not want to have sex with multiple men, but Ruprecht would force them to do so. They said he threatened to tell their parents if they didn’t comply with his wishes.

The girls, one of whom was 14 when the encounters began, also alleged that Ruprecht would get violent if they didn’t comply with his wishes in bed, leaving them bruised and one with broken ribs.

One of the alleged victims said she met Ruprecht for sex more than 20 times over two years.

Ruprecht was a basketball coach with Little Bridger Basketball in Ambridge. Channel 11’s Rick Earle spoke on the phone with the president of the league, Leah Pyle-Thompson, who said Ruprecht coached a sixth-grade girls travel team last season.

“He's been extremely dedicated, to be honest with you, as far as practicing and coaching and trying and wanting to do the best for the girls on his team,” Pyle-Thompson said.

She said the league does conduct background checks, and that all that came up on Ruprecht’s record was a DUI.

Ruprecht, a married father of three, was taken into custody Friday evening.