A former Omaha youth football coach pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child for sexually assaulting a girl from the age of 6 to 11.
Darrel G. Meyer, 63, will be sentenced in August. He faces 15 years to life in prison on each charge.
The plea means Meyer will be in prison at least until he’s 78 — unless Douglas County District Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf places him on probation.
In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped 25 counts of possession of child pornography in connection with images found on Meyer’s computer.
Meyer had been the head of, and a coach in, the Omaha Chiefs youth football organization for more than four decades. The organization’s teams practiced on a field next to his house.
The girl had no connection to the program.
Prosecutor Jennifer Meckna said Meyer’s crimes took place as frequently as once a week from July 2006 to July 2011.
Meckna said Meyer would show the victim pornography. He then penetrated her with his fingers and penis multiple times in multiple ways, the prosecutor said.
Meckna said Meyer silenced the victim for a number of years by telling her he would kill himself — and she would end up in Boys Town — if she reported the assaults.
He also groomed her by giving her gifts — a cellphone, necklaces and other jewelry, Meckna said.
The victim’s mother cried softly as Meckna detailed the allegations.
The girl, now 12, is in therapy. Meckna said the girl is doing well but will have to work through the trauma Meyer caused for years to come.
Retelsdorf allowed Meyer to remain out on bail pending sentencing. However, the judge ordered him to remain in Douglas County during that time.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1275, firstname.lastname@example.org
* * * * *
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong date for Meyer's guilty plea. The plea was entered on Monday.