A former Oklahoma coach accused of raping a 16-year-old female student filed an appeal against a judge’s decision on January 7, hoping to prove his innocence. In December 2012, a judge rejected the argument that Tyrone Nash shouldn’t be charged with rape because the sexual relationship with the student was consensual. Nash and his attorney say that a state law preventing students and school employees from having a consensual relationship is unconstitutional. If you have been charged with a sex crime or another criminal offense in Oklahoma, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our knowledgeable defense attorneys at Atkins & Markoff to discuss your legal options and build a strong defense in your case.
OKLAHOMA SEX CRIME LAWS EXPLAINED
Under Oklahoma law, the age of consent throughout the state is 16, except when a sexual relationship involves a teacher and a student. According to Oklahoma sex crime laws, there are two important factors to consider when it comes to rape charges: the age of the alleged victim and his or her ability to give legal consent to engage in sexual activity. Although individuals 16 and older are legally able to consent to sex in Oklahoma, the law specifically dictates that a person under the supervision or custody of a local or state agency is unable to consent to sex, when the sexual activity involves an employee or authority of that agency – i.e. a teacher-student relationship.
OK CONSENT LAW CALLED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
While Nash’s lawyer admits that it is inappropriate for a person in an authoritative position to have sex with a student under the age of 18, he reasserts the fact that, although Nash worked at the same school the student attended, he was never her teacher at Western Heights. The state of Arkansas had instituted a similar measure prohibiting sexual relationships between school employees and students, until the Arkansas Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in May 2012. If the Court of Criminal Appeals denies Nash’s petition, the Oklahoma coach’s trial will begin on May 6, 2013, in Oklahoma County District Court.
CONTACT OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS TODAY
Nash is facing second-degree rape and oral sodomy charges involving a 16-year-old student. In Oklahoma, a second-degree rape conviction typically carries a punishment of one to fifteen years in prison, while being convicted of an oral sodomy crime may carry a prison sentence of up to ten years. If you have been arrested for rape, oral sodomy, or another serious sex crime in Oklahoma, contact our reputable defense lawyers at Atkins & Markoff today. Our Oklahoma City-based law firm has extensive experience defending Oklahomans against sex crimes such as these, and our criminal defense attorneys may be able to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed altogether.