- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A former assistant hockey coach for the Portland Pirates has been charged with soliciting sex from a 13-year-old fan and sending her a lewd photo.

Mike Minard, 37, of Falmouth, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act and sexual misconduct with a child younger than 14. His lawyer said he has asked for a jury trial.

“This guy is not a threat to anybody,” said his attorney, Timothy Zerillo of Portland. “He’s not a threat to boys or girls. It’s not a situation where he was coaching this alleged victim.”

The Pirates’ National Hockey League affiliate, the Phoenix Coyotes, fired Minard last month when it learned of the investigation.

According to a police report, Minard admitted sending a cellphone photo of his genitals and attempting to get the girl alone but said he wouldn’t have pursued the sexual suggestions he had made, the Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1dkRu91).

The two met at Pirates’ games in Lewiston, where she and her family sat behind the players’ bench, police said. He introduced her to players and gave her and a friend signed hockey sticks.

She contacted Minard later through the team’s Twitter account, and they traded cellphone numbers, the police reports said. They started communicating in November. Minard told police the exchanges turned sexual in January, police said.

A hearing on bail conditions for Minard is set for Tuesday in Waldo Superior Court.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com



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