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Former OPS staff member arrested for alleged sexual assault of a child

Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 17:57:17-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Police Department (OPD) said a former Omaha Public Schools (OPS) staff member was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

The suspect, 52-year-old Ronald Powell, is being investigated for a sexual assault case that police said began in 2015 when the victim was just 15 years old. The victim said the assault continued well into 2017.

After “an extensive investigation,” which included speaking to witnesses who corroborated the victim’s story and collecting evidence, an arrest warrant was issued for Powell.

Powell served North High School as a basketball coach and security guard from December 2014 until August 2016 when he was terminated for just cause.

Following his termination, Powell continued to volunteer as a girls basketball coach at Omaha Bryan High School until January 2020. Following notification of the case being built against Powell, he was released from coaching at the school.

OPD said Powell allegedly groomed his victims by promising to help get them scholarships and the police believe there may be other victims who have yet to come forward.

Due to trauma, the victim was afraid to come forward but felt she should in case Powell had victimized others.

The department said it understands the trauma sexual assault can cause a person. A report of sexual assault, regardless of how long ago it occurred, can be made by calling 911.

Powell was arrested on Monday for two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

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