Ex-Scottsdale high school coach faces child sex charges; crimes could span 11 years

A volunteer coach with a high school in Scottsdale was indicted for sexual misconduct with an underaged girl while he lived in Nebraska.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:10 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:24 AM MST
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OMAHA, NE (3TV/CBS 5/WOWT) - A now-former volunteer football coach for a Scottsdale high school and former owner of a dance studio in Nebraska pleaded not guilty to federal child sex charges Wednesday inside the federal courthouse in downtown Omaha.

Nicholas Murphy, 43, co-owned the Dance Authority dance studio in Omaha with his wife from 2012-2022. Agents with the Omaha FBI worry there may be more female victims. The former NFL punter sold the business in the last year and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. A federal judge ordered Murphy to quit his job as a volunteer football coach at an Desert Mountain High School while he awaits trial since he is not to have contact with any minors. Judge Susan M. Bazis did allow him to continue working in Arizona and to travel to conferences on the West Coast for his job — Murphy told the court that he was a software sales executive and a real estate agent recruiter — as long as he lets pre-trial services know about it.

Arizona’s Family Sports has also learned that Murphy was a player for ASU. He also attended Scottsdale Community College in 1998 after graduating from Desert Mountain himself.

“Earlier this evening we learned that one of our volunteer freshman football coaches has been indicted in the state of Nebraska,” a spokesperson for the Scottsdale Unified School District said in a Wednesday night message to families and staff at the high school Murphy worked at. “We want you to know that this person cleared a background check and had level one fingerprint clearance prior to being permitted to volunteer with our program. Upon learning of these out-of-state legal proceedings, he will no longer be volunteering with our program or anywhere in our district.”

He’s accused of traveling and transporting a female younger than age 18 from Omaha to Tucson, Arizona, with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with her in October 2021. A conviction on that charge carries prison time ranging from 10 years to life. In a exclusive video by Arizona’s Family sister station in Nebraska, he’s seen with his attorney as they left the federal courthouse in downtown Omaha on Wednesday afternoon.

After a lengthy hearing Wednesday afternoon to determine whether he should be detained, the judge released Murphy to his parents, who live in Arizona. He’ll have an ankle monitor and was ordered to have no contact with minors — which is why he has to quit his high school coaching. Investigators also said Murphy can’t talk about the case and must have supervision when seeing his children in Arizona. The government specified his 14-year-old stepdaughter especially since she knows the victim and may be a witness in the case.

FBI asking for more possible victims to come forward

FBI Omaha said investigators are looking for any victims who attended the Dance Authority, a dance studio located in Sarpy County near 180th & Harrison, from 2011 to the present. They said Murphy was the co-owner of the dance studio from 2012 to 2022. Anyone with information about this ongoing investigation or who thinks their child may have been victimized by Murphy is asked to report it online at fbi.gov/nicholasmurphy or call the FBI Omaha field office at 402-493-8688.

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