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Bond for former sportswriter charged with sexual assault of child set at $1M
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Bond for former sportswriter charged with sexual assault of child set at $1M

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AUBURN -- A Nemaha County judge set bail on Tuesday for a Lincoln man charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child at $1 million.

Brian Rosenthal, 49, made his first court appearance Tuesday. He would need to pay $100,000 bail to be released from the Nemaha County Jail in Auburn, where he's been held since he was arrested in Lancaster County last week.

Rosenthal, who was not required to make a plea Tuesday, appeared without an attorney and indicated he would be applying for a public defender. He didn't comment on the charges he faces.

Brian Rosenthal


Nemaha County Deputy Attorney Angelo Ligouri said Rosenthal will likely face another charge in a different county. He asked Judge Curtis Maschman to either grant no bond or set it at $5 million.

The charges stem from a string of incidents from December 2017 to February 2018, in which Rosenthal is alleged to have sexually assaulted the same child, between the ages of 12 and 15, on four separate occasions in Nemaha County. Rosenthal, who grew up and attended high school in neighboring Cook, was 45 years old at the time.

The first of the four alleged assaults happened between Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 in 2017, according to the complaint filed in Nemaha County, the last incident sometime between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17 of 2018.

The probable cause affidavit supporting the arrest has been sealed. The charges, class 1B felonies, carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

It appeared Rosenthal, a former Journal Star sports reporter, had several supporters in the courtroom.

In addition to covering Husker sports, high school sports and horse racing for the Journal Star from 2001 to 2016, Rosenthal was a writer within the University of Nebraska athletic department from 2016 to 2020.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or

On Twitter @andrewwegley. 


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A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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