Man pleads guilty to child rape charges after fleeing October trial

Jim Melwert
May 28, 2019 - 1:39 pm
Shannon Westmoreland

Bucks County District Attorney's Office

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BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A former youth football coach who ran off to Florida before his trial in October 2018 was back in court Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three children. 

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Shannon Westmoreland, 49, pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and sexual assault.

He was sentenced to 14 to 28 years in prison, along with 15 years probation.

He also pleaded guilty to skipping his trial in October and running off to Florida.

Westmoreland was a youth football coach in Bensalem in 2005 when he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old who was not associated with the football program.  

He raped another girl for several years, starting when she was 4 years old.

Investigators say a third girl told them Westmoreland raped her in 1999 when she was 6 years old, and again when she was 18 in 2001.