BEAL CITY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities charged a highly successful small-town football coach in mid-Michigan with sending sexually explicit images to boys, two months after he suddenly quit when confronted with pornography allegations.

The controversy involving Lou Rau has been a shocker at tiny Beal City High School, 80 miles north of Lansing, which has played more football playoff games than any other school in Michigan.

“His career is over,” defense attorney Dan O’Neil said.

Rau appeared Friday in an Isabella County court, charged with accosting a minor for immoral purposes, distributing sexually explicit materials to minors and furnishing alcohol to minors. The allegations involve five boys who were players at one time.

Rau sent them a range of images, from one to 70, and also supplied sex toys, according to court records.

Rau was released from jail after his bond was reduced to $80,000 from $120,000. O’Neil told a judge that he’s a “homegrown boy with no criminal record.”

“He’s arguably the most celebrated football coach Beal City has ever had,” O’Neil said.

Indeed, Rau, 45, a Beal City graduate, took the Aggies to five state championship games, winning one in 2009. He became football coach in 2000.

In January, he resigned in a text message when confronted by Beal City school officials about sending porn to students. Many parents had complained.

The sheriff’s department gave a 650-page report to prosecutors before charges were filed.

“It’s an individual that was well trusted, very successful, winning coach. … We’ll let the criminal justice system handle it now,” Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said.

 

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