Former OU player, "Silent Thunder" author faces felony child molestation, porn charges

JAMES S. TYREE Modified: August 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm •  Published: August 26, 2009
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NORMAN — A former University of Oklahoma football player who wrote an autobiography about dealing with hearing loss and depression faces felony charges of child molestation and pornography.

Eric S. Thunander, 29, of Norman was charged Tuesday in Cleveland County District Court with three counts of lewd acts with a child and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested Tuesday by Norman police and is in the Cleveland County jail awaiting arraignment today.

According to a court affidavit, a 9-year-old girl told a daycare worker on Aug. 10 that Thunander touched her inappropriately earlier that day. Thunander also is accused of molesting the girl on Aug. 9 and at some point between May and September of 2008.

Norman officers interviewed Thunander with help from a sign language interpreter, the affidavit states, and he confessed verbally and in writing to inappropriately touching the girl on three occasions. He also is accused of having downloaded child pornography onto his computer.

Thunander played as a true freshman on the 1999 OU football team and was a key reserve on the 2000 national championship squad. An ear canal injury ended his football career after that season, but he completed his bachelor's degree in 2007.

Thunander wrote "Silent Thunder," an autobiography released last year that delved into his life as a deaf athlete who also tried to overcome abuse within the family and his own depression.

Jenni Carlson's blog: Another dark day for former Sooner

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