Arizona high school football coach facing federal child sex charges in Nebraska

Former NFL punter Nicholas Murphy, 43, is facing charges of sexual conduct with an Omaha female younger than age 18.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 4:26 PM MST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) - An Arizona high school football coach who used to live in Omaha, Nebraska, has been ordered by a federal judge to quit his job while he awaits trial.

The order comes after a federal indictment for sexual conduct with a female younger than age 18, an allegation from when suspect Nicholas Murphy used to live in Omaha.

Murphy, 43, is a former NFL punter who had a brief career in the early 2000s. He moved to Arizona last year.

In a 6 News exclusive video, Murphy is seen with his attorney as they left the federal courthouse in downtown Omaha on Wednesday afternoon.

After a lengthy hearing, the judge released Murphy to his parents, who live in Arizona. He’ll have an ankle monitor and was ordered to have no contact with minors — which is why he has to quit his high school coaching job.

Arizona’s Family has learned that Murphy was also a volunteer coach at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale

Murphy is accused of traveling and transporting a female younger than age 18 from Omaha to Tucson, Arizona, with the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with her. The incident allegedly happened in October 2021.

A conviction on that charge carries prison time ranging from 10 years to life.

Investigators also said Murphy can’t talk about the case and must have supervision when seeing his children in Arizona. The government specifically mentioned his 14-year-old stepdaughter since she knows the victim and may be a witness in the case.

More than a dozen parents were in the courtroom Wednesday, some of them wearing white ribbons. 6 News was told they were to honor the victim and her friends.

There was also a lot of anger in there. One of the fathers was overheard describing Murphy as “a dirtbag.”

The judge ordered the defendant to surrender his passport but says he can continue to work in Arizona and travel to conferences on the West Coast for his job as long as he lets pre-trial services know about the travel.

6 News asked Murphy for a comment, but he declined.

The FBI is asking for the public’s help identifying any potential additional victims from the Dance Authority studio who may have had contact with Murphy.

According to the FBI Omaha office, investigators are looking for any potential additional victims who attended the Dance Authority, a studio located in Sarpy County, from 2011 to the present day.

Murphy was the co-owner of the dance studio from 2012 to 2022, according to investigators.

Anyone with information about the ongoing investigation or who thinks their child may have been victimized by Murphy is asked to report it online or call the FBI Omaha field office at 402-493-8688.

“The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes it investigates. Victims may be eligible for certain services, restitution, and rights under federal and/or state law,” the FBI Omaha release states.

The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office is also assisting in the investigation.