Hartford AAU basketball coach accused of assaulting female high school player, police records show

Hartford AAU basketball coach accused of assaulting female high school player, police records show

A former Hartford Public basketball player who coached in the Bria Holmes Elite AAU girls basketball program is facing sexual assault and drug charges after he was accused of assaulting a young female basketball player who had been staying with him.

Danny Lawhorn Jr., 30, was arrested June 13 and charged with second-degree sexual assault and possession of narcotics, court records show. He was released on $250,000 bond after a June 21 court appearance.

The high school junior told police Lawhorn had been acting as her sponsor and allowed her to stay at his home for the summer-long basketball program, according a Hartford police incident report.

Between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on June 13, the girl told police Lawhorn asked her to come upstairs to “help him with something” in his bedroom. The girl told police Lawhorn then forced her to lay on the bed and removed her shorts before assaulting her briefly, according to the police report. She dressed and packed her backpack immediately after before leaving a side door of the home and hailing a ride to a nearby hotel, where she called police, the report said.

Officers met Lawhorn later that morning and he agreed to an interview and to let them search his apartment. . When officers searched him they discovered crack cocaine in his pants pocket, according to the report.

Lawhorn “changed his story several times” during the interview with officers but eventually admitted he and the girl had touched each other before briefly having sex, but he said he stopped after “recognizing he should not be having intercourse” with the girl, according to the police account of the interview.

Lawhorn’s attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, said Wednesday that he is still gathering further information from police about the incident, but he does not believe Lawhorn committed the crime officers have alleged.

Attempts by the Courant to reach the Holmes’ AAU program were unsuccessful but the group said in a statement to parents that Lawhorn was removed immediately after it learned of his arrest, according to a story in the Connecticut Post. The group did not learn of the arrest until the end of June, the Post reported.

Lawhorn, who played basketball at Hartford Public and South Kent School, played at San Jacinto Junior College in Texas for two years before transferring to Washington State in 2013. He left the school without ever playing for the team in October 2013 after being suspended for violating team rules, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

The AAU program in which he coached was founded in 2018 by Holmes, a former Hillhouse High star from New Haven who played at West Virginia and for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun in 2019 and 2020 before signing with the L.A. Sparks in February.

A 2019 Courant story reported that Lawhorn was coaching two of the teams in the program, and was Holmes’ boyfriend at the time. The two have a child together.

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