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(DOUGLAS COUNTY, COLO. 12/26/04) A former coach of the traveling teen girls basketball club the Colorado Hoopsters was found dead behind bars Sunday. Rick Lopez, 37, was found hanging in his cell, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Tim Moore said. There was a note found near him, but Moore said he could not discuss its contents. Lopez was charged in August with 59 counts of sexual assault, assault and child abuse. He had an arraignment hearing scheduled for Feb. 11, Moore said. His death was under investigation. Prosecutors have alleged that Lopez admitted having sexual relationships with three of his former players. Investigators said the girls were teenagers when the alleged encounters began in 1998, and one was 13. Lopez had denied allegations of misconduct.

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