The assault charges filed against a Loudoun County youth football coach were dismissed Thursday after a Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge determined that the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence to proceed with the case.
Seth H. Rocca, 28, an assistant coach for the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League, was charged with assaulting a 14-year-old football player after he allegedly shoved the boy to the ground during a Sept. 28 practice session. The player’s parents called Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies to the scene, and Rocca was charged with simple assault as a result of their investigation, according to authorities.
Several coaches and parents who witnessed the interaction questioned the charge, and said that the incident was a misunderstanding that escalated after Rocca and the player both fell to the ground while Rocca was attempting to demonstrate a blocking technique.
The parents of the teen player initially sought a protective order against Rocca, but later dropped their petition at an Oct. 12 hearing.
The case went to trial Thursday and ended soon after the prosecution presented its case, when Judge Pamela Brooks sustained the defense’s motion to strike the evidence, according to Gregory Harris, Rocca’s attorney.
About fifteen players from the football league, along with their parents, were present in the courtroom to support Rocca, Harris said.
“We do have an excellent legal system in Loudoun County,” Harris said after the case was dismissed. “It was football, pure and simple.”
The family of the teen player could not be immediately reached for comment.