A Minnesota state-title winning tennis coach has been fired after he was allegedly caught in a police sting attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with 15-year-old girl.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among other sources, Kevin Rust was fired Wednesday as the Benilde-St. Margaret High School boys tennis coach after he was handed felony charges of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement and attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child.
Rust was nearing the tail end of a storied coaching career, having captured 11 Class 1A team championships in 12 years with the Lourdes girls team before moving on to Benilde-St. Margaret.
The sting operation that netted Rust in a web of deceit captured truly horrifying interchanges between Rust and someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl named Lyla. Keep in mind that Rust is 54 years old as he sends these messages:
On June 14, Rust answered a listing on a personals ad website titled “younger lady looking for older.” Soon after, the undercover officer started receiving text messages from Rust.
On June 22, Rust said in a text to “Lyla” that he was 54 years old, and the officer replied that she was “almost 16 is that ok or no …”
He replied: “Save yourself for me.”
When she asked whether he meant until she’s 18, Rust texted back: “No I mean now.”
From there, Rust proceeded to arrange a sexual encounter, where he drove two hours to be met by law enforcement officers.
Those who knew the coach from his earlier career expressed shock at his arrest.
“No one saw any of this coming,” Matt Remick, owner of the Rochester Athletic Club, the private health club where Rust previously taught tennis, told the Star Tribune. Remick said that as a junior high and high school student, he took lessons from Rust. “He would coach character as part of what makes you a successful tennis player. I never would have expected anything like this.”