Reaction To Indicted Soccer Coach

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

May 19, 2006

Raja Jabbour, a former Albemarle County High School soccer coach, has been indicted on child pornography charges.

Up until just a few weeks ago Jabbour was a junior varsity coach for the girls' soccer team. He had been coaching soccer for a number of years at different soccer clubs in the area. On Friday, Bill Mueller, the executive director of the Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle (SOCA), who worked with Jabbour in 2002, spoke about Jabbour.

"(Jabbour) was certainly opinionated and... I would characterize him as sort of energetic," said Mueller.

Police say Jabbour had digital pictures, movies and Internet chat's with children as young as 12, on his home and work computers.

"We were certainly surprised and saddened to know that potentially children in our community have been exposed to the sort of activities that he's been alleged to participate in," continued Mueller.

Mueller stressed, though, that Jabbour was let go from SOCA based solely on professional disagreements.

"It really had to do with the operation of the soccer club," said Mueller. "It did not involve any suspicions [like] the sort of things he's presently being charged with."

But investigators are still working on the case and Jabbour could face more charges. The U.S. Attorney's Office said he may be charged with making child porn, as well.

This isn't the first time he's been caught. Back in 2004 Jabbour was arrested for traveling to Ohio to meet up with a child, who turned out to be an undercover officer.

It's unclear, however, how he was able to go on to coach at the Albemarle County High School, coaching children.

The judge wanted to release Jabbour on a $50,000 bond but the U.S. attorney's office says they've already filed an appeal, and until the hearing is set, he will remain in jail.

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