A onetime assistant high school volleyball coach in Forest Lake accused of sexually assaulting one of his players at his home said he was targeted for blackmail in connection with the allegations.
Mark R. Kosloski, 47, of Wyoming, Minn., was charged Monday in Chisago County District Court with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving the alleged encounters spanning North Lakes Academy's fall semester in 2017.
The former North Lakes student, now 20 years old, turned over to Wyoming police on Feb. 2 what she said was a text exchange a couple of nights earlier that included Kosloski acknowledging wrongdoing after she pressed him to apologize, according to the charges.
"I'm sorry for everything I've ever done that hurt you or anyone else," reads one of Kosloski's texts to the woman, the complaint read. "I ask God's forgiveness every day for everything I've done."
However, Kosloski's attorney said Tuesday that his client denies the allegations and was threatened with blackmail unless he paid the woman's friend $5,000.
Attorney John Barragry sent to the Star Tribune what he said is a screenshot of a Facebook message from the friend to Kosloski that was sent before the woman went to police with her allegations.
"Mark I have screenshots from your and [the woman's] conversation last night," it began, followed by instructions on how to send the money digitally: $2,500 on Feb. 1 and another $2,500 on Feb. 8.
"If you decide not to comply, I will sending (sic) the screenshots to your wife … and then send them to your colleagues."
Kosloski, who did not comply, reported to police that he was being extorted and intends to share the Facebook message with them should they decide to open an investigation, Barragry said.
Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe said Tuesday night that his department has interviewed the alleged blackmailer as part of an active investigation and has no reason to suspect Kosloski's accuser is complicit in any blackmail plot.
The woman's friend is 20 years old, also attended North Lakes Academy and lives in Duluth. She declined Tuesday night to answer questions from the Star Tribune.
On the same day the woman contacted police, Kosloski quit as the public charter school's head boys basketball coach, a post he had held since November 2015, said academy Executive Director Cam Stottler.
Kosloski was on the girls' volleyball coaching staff for just the 2017-18 season and did not hold any other positions with the school, Stottler said.
He was booked into jail Monday, then released without having to post bail. His next court date is May 17.
According to the charges:
The woman told police that Kosloski trained her and the rest of the team during the summer before her senior year, but she was kicked off the team for smoking marijuana.
She said Kosloski offered to have her work out and train at his home gym. It was during those sessions that they started having sex until late December, when she cut it off.
Kosloski appeared nervous, explaining to her that she needed to keep quiet about their encounters because he could get in trouble.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482