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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Coach's hanging death confirmed

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posted on Feb, 17 2005 @ 05:16 PM
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- No charges will be filed in the death of a former girls' basketball coach who died in a jail cell the day after Christmas.

The Douglas County sheriff's office said Thursday that an extensive investigation has determined conclusively that sexual assault suspect Rick Lopez committed suicide by hanging.

The 36-year-old Lopez used a bed sheet tied to a small air vent in his cell. He was awaiting trial on 55 felony charges stemming from alleged sexual relations with three young players.

Prosecutors said Lopez confessed to the relationships, some with girls only 13 or 14 years old.

The Douglas County sheriff's office said Lopez left behind notes expressing unhappiness with people involved in his pending trial, and explaining what he wanted done with personal property.

Investigators also say Lopez had threatened to harm himself earlier on the day he died, but family members didn't take the threats seriously and didn't report them to authorities.

Lopez had been the coach of the Colorado Hoopsters, a highly successful traveling club team he founded in the mid-1990s.

He resigned last July during a tournament in Oregon, and was arrested about three weeks later in Syracuse, N.Y.



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