Zellefrow indecent assault case moves forward

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011

Two days ahead of schedule, a Kittanning High School tennis coach waived his right to a preliminary hearing on accusations that he inappropriately touched a player during a November practice.

Dennis Lee Zellefrow, 62, of Johnston Avenue, and his attorney appeared Monday before a Butler County district judge to waive the hearing that had been scheduled for today. Charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors will be forwarded to the Butler County Court of Common Pleas.

Zellefrow was charged last month by state police in connection with a Nov. 21 incident that allegedly occurred at the Lakevue Racquet Club in Middlesex Township, Butler County.

The 15-year-old female victim reported to police that during a practice session Zellefrow groped her multiple times while showing her proper body positioning for playing tennis while at the club. The rest of the team members attending the practice were in a different area of the building, the victim told police.

About 4:30 p.m., Zellefrow allegedly followed the victim into a hallway and attempted to show her how to serve a tennis ball when he placed her hand on the crotch area of his sweatpants, according to court documents. Twice more, the victim reported to police, Zellefrow pulled the female aside and touched her inappropriately.

On Nov. 22, Zellefrow admitted to state police during an interview that he was "physically attracted to the victim" and became aroused while teaching her positioning for playing tennis, police said. He corroborated the victim's account, telling police that he touched her and made her touch him while at practice.

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