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Former athletic director makes plea deal on sex charges
AP

Former athletic director makes plea deal on sex charges

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FREMONT — A former Midland University athletic director facing felony charges of soliciting sex from student athletes pleaded to lesser charges Monday in Dodge County District Court.

Jason Dannelly, 34, of Omaha pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor attempted solicitation of prostitution. Each charge carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Dannelly originally was charged with two felonies — pandering and making a terroristic threat — and two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.

He originally pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In exchange for his no contest plea, the state dropped its felony charges and reduced the soliciting prostitution charges to attempted solicitation. As part of the agreement, the state will not oppose probation, but Dannelly must undergo a psychological evaluation.

The state alleged that he solicited prostitution from two students in fall 2012.

Dannelly was arrested in Omaha by Fremont detectives in early July following a seven-month investigation.

During Monday’s hearing, Deputy Dodge County Attorney Tim Sopinski told the court a student athlete approached Dannelly looking for work-study opportunities, but was told none were available. Instead, Dannelly told the student he had a friend in Omaha who was looking for someone to be with when his wife was out of town.

Sopinski said Dannelly sent that student a number of texts that went unanswered, then went to her dorm room and asked her if she wanted to see a photo of his friend who would pay her for sex. Sopinski said Dannelly showed the student a picture of himself and handed her an envelope containing $300.

Another student athlete who had minor trouble with the law told police that Dannelly led her to believe he could help protect her from dismissal from the team if she had sex with him, and that he threatened to harm her if she told anyone.

Dodge County District Court Judge Geoffrey Hall accepted Dannelly’s no-contest plea and found him guilty. A pre-sentence investigation report was ordered, and sentencing is set for April 7.

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