Police: Greater Lansing soccer coach sexually abused teenage boy

Capital Area Soccer League director ousted after felony sex charges

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(This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. on July 15)

WEDNESDAY, June 15 — A local soccer coach and executive director of the Capital Area Soccer League could face decades in prison after he was accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Scott Michael Dane, 38, of Lansing, was charged this month in Eaton County’s 56th Circuit Court with two counts of child sexually abusive activity, felonies that could put him behind bars for more than 40 years, if convicted. Records show he also faces two, 60- and 90-day misdemeanor charges of giving alcohol to and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Dane declined to comment on the pending criminal case this week, as did his attorney, Chris Bergstrom. A spokesman for Grand Ledge Public Schools said former superintendent Brian Metcalf was made aware of a criminal investigation against Dane on July 10, 2019. Dane resigned from the job on July 11, 2019 before any internal investigation could formally begin.

That investigation apparently continued for nearly a year. Charges were only filed earlier this month. 

Dane was also quickly ousted as the executive director of the Capital Area Soccer League when the organization learned the charges had been filed. He also served as the head coach for Michigan State University’s club team — a role he no longer fills. It’s unclear when he left. 

According to court records, Dane was accused of selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor and persuading a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexually abusive activity for the purposes of producing sexually abusive material. It’s the same charge levied in child pornography cases.

A Grand Ledge Public Schools spokesman said “it was suggested” by the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office that the incident involved a student at the school district, but emphasized that no victim identities were revealed to district officials and the reports remain unconfirmed. Calls to the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's office were not immediately returned this afternoon. 

Dane coached boys and girls varsity soccer since August 2009. Court records, which offered few details, noted that his alleged sexual abuse occurred between 2016 and 2019 — the same year he left his coaching job at the school district, district officials confirmed earlier today. 

Records show Dane appeared in court for a status conference earlier this week, but he hasn’t submitted a plea as the case moves forward. No future hearings have yet been scheduled.

Michigan State Police troopers arrested Dane earlier this month and booked him into Eaton County’s jail, where he was later released on a $25,000 cash bond. As his case proceeds, he must remain at his home in Lansing, cannot have unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18 and is prohibited from taking photographs of the human body, court records state.

Dane was instrumental in the planning of the Beacon Southwest project, a soccer field at West Holmes and Simkin Drive modeled after Beacon Field, near the southeast corner of Ferris Park. He told the Lansing State Journal that the field would draw in at least 70 children each night.

“They’re all ready for something extremely positive to happen,” Dane told the State Journal.

“He was gone as soon as we found out about that stuff,” said Oscar Casteneda, president of Capital Area Soccer League. “It’s not just a troubling incident. It’s horrible. And it doesn’t have anything to do with this league. I found out about the situation when he didn’t show up to work.”

Castenda said there are no immediate plans to replace Dane given COVID-19-related delays to soccer seasons across Greater Lansing. Still, he said, Dane’s departure came at a terrible time.

“The timing couldn’t be worse,” Castenda added. “We don’t have any income. And it’s not like I can hire someone else when we’re unsure of whether we’re even going to have a fall season.”

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