Calif. basketball coach faces child abuse allegations

Francis Ngissah
CBS Sacramento

(CBS) ROSEVILLE, Calif. - Francis Amiteye Ngissah, a 24-year-old Northern California man, was arrested Wednesday night and accused of abusing players enrolled in the basketball academy he ran out of his home, CBS Sacramento reports.

Ngissah, of Roseville,  was arrested on suspicion of child abuse involving cruel corporal punishment and willful cruelty, battery and false imprisonment, according to the Roseville Police Department.

According to CBS Sacramento, four alleged victims came to the police department Tuesday to report having been subjected to unusual physical punishment. They were enrolled in CCSE Prep Academy, an organization advertised as a private college preparatory school for basketball athletes that listed Nigissah as the school president, and were boarding with Ngissah at his home.

Ngissah is accused of abusing at least six of his players, ages 15-20. The four that spoke with police reported that Ngissah tied them up for hours and even put clothes pins on their nipples, CBS Sacramento reports.

Several of the players were recruited from overseas, from as far away as France and Brazil, the station reports. Ngissah reportedly told them if they didn't take part in the program then they were going to have to go back home.

"You have to endure physical pain in order to become a better basketball player," Roseville Police Sgt. Darin DeFreece said Ngissah told his players.

Ngissah was booked into the Placer County Jail and released after posting $100,000 bail. Three juveniles from the program were released to the custody of child protective authorities and a young adult made other living arrangements, police said. No other students were living at Ngissah's home at the time of the arrests, according to the station.

CBS Sacramento reports, detectives believe that there may be additional victims who had already left the program. Anyone with information is asked to call the Roseville Police Department's investigation unit at (916) 774-5070.