PHILADELPHIA (February 8, 2024) – District Attorney Larry Krasner on Thursday announced the conviction of Rodney Watkins (DOB: 10/11/1968) for assaulting six children he was able to access by founding a traveling youth skateboarding team called Powerfulnailya.
Watkins was arrested and charged by the DA’s Office in December 2020, after two adult complainants reported what had happened to them as children in 2011 and 2012 to Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit (SVU). After PPD and the DA’s Office announced Watkins had been arrested and charged, five more adult complainants contacted authorities to report Watkins’ grooming and assault of them years ago as children.
At a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, Watkins pleaded no contest on six of the seven cases against him; the Commonwealth withdrew a seventh case because the alleged crimes against that complainant occurred outside of the statute of limitations.
In total, Watkins has been convicted of three counts of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse of a Child, one count of Aggravated Indecent Assault – Person Less than 14 Years of Age, three counts of Corruption of Minors, and two counts of Unlawful Contact with Minors. Sentencing is scheduled for May 3, 2024, before the Hon. Lucretia Clemons.
“I want to thank Philadelphia Police SVU detectives and my office’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit for seeking accountability for survivors, sometimes more than a decade after they were victimized as children,” DA Krasner said. “ADAs John Paul Bezerra and Kara Heininger, with the guidance of FVSA Supervisor Cheryl Yankolonis and Assistant Supervisor Vilma Cubias, secured the conviction of Rodney Watkins on very serious charges while sparing survivors who came forward what would likely have been a retraumatizing trial experience.”
Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.