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Attorney for ex-coach charged with rape says Oklahoma's age of consent law is unconstitutional

Tyrone Nash is facing 10 felony counts, even though the alleged victim, 16, says sex was consensual; lawyer is asking trial judge to dismiss charges based on Arkansas high court ruling.
by Tim Willert Modified: September 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012

The attorney for a former high school basketball coach accused of raping a female student is challenging the state's age of consent law and asking a judge to dismiss the charges against his client.

Tyrone Lamont Nash, 33, of Oklahoma City, is charged with five counts of second-degree rape and five counts of forcible oral sodomy. The former Western Heights High School coach was arrested Sept. 9 after the student, 16, told police she had been having sex with a teacher.

Attorney David Slane filed a motion in Oklahoma County District Court on Tuesday asking the trial judge in Nash's case to overturn statutes for second-degree rape and oral sodomy as they apply to school district employees.

“I'm not saying that it's OK for teachers to have sex with students,” Slane said outside the court clerk's office. “What I'm saying is this statute is poorly written and unconstitutional.”

Different situation

Under Oklahoma law, the age of consent for sexual intercourse and oral sodomy is 16, unless the acts are committed by a school district employee.

Slane contends the law should be rewritten by the Oklahoma legislature to apply only to teachers and other school employees who wield some sort of power, control or influence over a student.

Nash, he said, was not the girl's teacher. The girl was a volunteer helper for the basketball team Nash coached, the attorney said.

“The reason the law is unconstitutional is that if two people are of age of consent, that means they have a constitutional right to privacy, which includes sexual relations,” he said.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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