Hartford AAU basketball coach accused of sexually assaulting high school player

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FILE / PIXABAY

Connecticut – Danny Lawhorn, 30, of Hartford, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with child enticement and narcotics distribution offenses.

As alleged in the complaint, Lawhorn was the coach for a basketball program that had been registered with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) from 2018 to 2020. In the spring of 2021, the family of a minor female paid Lawhorn $700 and signed a contract for the minor to play in the program, which they believed to still be part of the AAU. Lawhorn and his girlfriend served as the minor’s host family and allowed her to reside with them at their home in Hartford. Other girls from the program also stayed at the house at times.

The complaint alleges that in the early morning hours of June 13, 2021, “Lawhorn used his cellphone to text the minor a voice message asking her to give him a massage. When the minor went to Lawhorn’s bedroom, he directed her to massage his groin and inner thighs with her hands and, ultimately, sexually assaulted her. Lawhorn was arrested later that morning on related state charges for second degree sexual assault. Prior to his arrest, law enforcement found distribution quantities of crack cocaine in his pocket.”

The complaint also alleges that two other girls reported that Lawhorn had repeatedly sexually assaulted them when they played on his AAU basketball team in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Both girls, who were under the age of 18 at the time they were sexually assaulted, reported that Lawhorn first asked for a massage before he sexually assaulting them.

It is further alleged that, on October 5, 2021, Hartford Police arrested Lawhorn on three counts of second-degree sexual assault charges for assaulting one of the girls. At the time of his arrest, Lawhorn possessed approximately 300 wax paper sleeves containing a white powder substance that tested positive for fentanyl.

The federal complaint charges Lawhorn with enticement and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, which carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and fentanyl, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

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