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The former Lincoln sportswriter charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child in Nemaha County has pleaded not guilty.

Brian Rosenthal, 49, is now set to appear at a jury trial in Auburn next March, according to a pretrial order filed by Judge Stefanie Martinez in Nemaha County District Court.

Rosenthal was first arrested in late July, the charges stemming from a string of incidents from December 2017 to February 2018, in which he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the same child, between the ages of 12 and 15, on four separate occasions in Nemaha County. Rosenthal was 45 years old at the time.



Rosenthal was a writer for the University of Nebraska athletic department from 2016 to 2020 and previously covered Husker sports, high school sports and horse racing for the Journal Star from 2001 to 2016.

The first of the four alleged assaults happened between Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 in 2017, according to the complaint filed in Nemaha County. The last incident occurred sometime between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17 of 2018.

Rosenthal's arrest affidavit has been sealed. Each felony charge carries a mandatory minimum sentencing of 15 years.

The investigation into Rosenthal also resulted in child pornography charges in Lancaster County, where he lives. 

The Lancaster County Attorney's Office in August charged Rosenthal with two counts of generating child pornography and one count of possessing it. The case involves the same victim he's accused of sexually assaulting in Nemaha County, according to court filings. 

Rosenthal is being held at the Nemaha County Jail on a $1 million bond. He would need to pay $100,000 bail to be released. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or

On Twitter @andrewwegley 

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