Former Commerce Public School coach charged with rape

A Miami, Okla., man who is a former Commerce Public School coach is accused of having sex with a student.
By Sheila Stogsdill, For The Oklahoman Published: May 30, 2014
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— A former Commerce Public School coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a high school student surrendered to Ottawa County authorities on Friday and was released on $75,000 bail, court records show.

Thomas Alan Fenderson, 43, of Miami, is charged in Ottawa County District Court with three counts of second-degree rape. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl on and off the Commerce High School campus.

Fenderson was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Ben Loring, assistant district attorney, said at the time Fenderson was charged, the teen had passed Oklahoma’s age of consent, but school employees can be prosecuted for rape until a student is 20.

Fenderson resigned on May 15.

Fenderson was employed as a science teacher, assistant high school football coach, boys basketball coach and middle school boys track coach, according to the high school’s website.

The victim told police she and Fenderson began sending Snapchat photos to each other in January, followed by text messages, according to a probable cause affidavit. The teen claimed they had sex at a Miami motel in March, and had other sexual encounters at Fenderson’s home and in the coaches’ room at Commerce High School, the affidavit states.

Fenderson confessed to the wrongdoing, according to the affidavit.


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