The Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified "quite a few" victims of former Bria Holmes Elite AAU girl's basketball coach Danny Lawhorn, who faces state sexual assault and federal child enticement charges related to his sexual abuse of players in the program. According to a report by Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press, Lawhorn is currently charged with sexually abusing three girls who played for the Bria Holmes Elite program between 2017 and this year.
Lawhorn's charges allege that in June, he sexually assaulted a player from overseas who had been staying at his Hartford, Connecticut home. Two other former Bria Holmes Elite players subsequently came forward, both stating that they were sexually assaulted in 2017 and 2019 respectively. In all three cases, Lawhorn allegedly asked the girls for a massage before he abused them. All three girls were under the age of 18 at the time.
In a news conference on Friday, a special agent for the FBI's New Haven office stated that the agency was asking for other victims to come forward and contact them through a special website. Because of the nature of the program, which trains students for potential scholarships to play college basketball, the belief is that some victims may be out of state or overseas.
According to a report by Edmund H. Mahoney of the Hartford Courant, a prosecution memo states that Lawhorn had told detectives at the time of his arrest that he had exercised control over one of his victims, and also described the sexual acts and contact he engaged in while also realizing his actions were wrong.
"In referring to the girls that stayed in his home, he stated, "I run a program. . . . I'm trying to get you a scholarship. . . . although you're not as good as you're supposed to be, and no colleges want you now, I gave you a place to stay, right, I gave another person a place to stay, you all come, you all train with me, and I talk to these colleges for you," reads the memo.
One victim's account of Lawhorn's crimes states that she had been abused regularly over the course of 10 months, with Lawhorn repeatedly telling her that she had to comply in order to continue to play basketball and earn a scholarship to play in college.
Lawhorn was removed from the program following his arrest in June and had been under investigation since September of 2020. In addition to his sex crimes, Lawhorn also faces federal drug charges stemming from alleged possession of crack cocaine and fentanyl.