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Father Arrested After Leaving Toddler in Car at Brothel Parking Lot

Lucien HoffmanStorey County Sheriff's Department

An Oregon rugby player remains in jail Tuesday after being arrested on charges he left his 2-year-old daughter in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Nevada brothel on a 95-degree day.

Lucien Hoffman, of Bend, Ore., is being held in the Storey County Detention Center in lieu of $40,000 bail on charges of child neglect.

Police arrested Hoffman early Sunday night at the World Famous Mustang Ranch brothel in Sparks, Nev., after a security guard found the child crying inside the car, according to Storey County Sheriff's Det./Sgt. Kenneth Quirk.

Hoffman, a wing for Bend Rugby who goes by the nicknames Luke and "Torpedo," had been attending a pool party and barbecue at the brothel, a co-sponsor of a Labor Day weekend rugby tournament in Reno organized by the Reno Zephyrs Rugby Club.

A handful of Bend Rugby team members had driven to the brothel party in a camper van, according to the club's president, Matt Burke. Neither coaching staff nor team captains attended the event, he said.

"We won the tournament, so I think half of the people in the club got in their cars and started driving home and a few went to the after-tournament function to receive the trophy," said Burke, who did not attend the Nevada tournament.

Quirk said that had the child been noticed by the brothel security guard, Hoffman's vehicle wouldn't have been allowed in. When security guards did hear her crying and couldn't locate her parents, they contacted the sheriff's office and took the child inside the brothel.

"It was 95 degrees out at that time of day, and you have to figure another 30 degrees on top of that inside a vehicle even with the windows down," Quirk said.

According to the Reno Rugby Club's Web site, the brothel pool party was an after-event for its first "Biggest Little Rugby Tournament in the World," a two-day competition drawing 14 rugby teams from around the West Coast.

Hoffman attended the tournament with his girlfriend, a woman who is not the mother of the 2-year-old toddler. Hoffman shares joint custody of the child with her biological mother.

"It was probably not a good decision to take the child [to Nevada] in the first place, but basically it was sort of like a vacation for them," Burke said.

After Hoffman's arrest, the toddler was treated for dehydration and released to the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services. She was returned to her mother in Bend, Ore.

Burke called Hoffman a good father who made a bad decision.

"We know Luke to be a good father," he said. "He's not a neglectful person or an irresponsible parent. It's unfortunate that he made the decision that he did to put here in the car, but I'm sure the decision wasn't arrived at in a neglectful manner or that he was intentionally being neglectful."