The attorney for a former basketball coach accused of rape is asking the state Court of Criminal Appeals to stop the case from proceeding to trial.
David Slane filed paperwork Monday to appeal a district court ruling that stated Tyrone Nash did not have a constitutional right to engage in consensual sex with a female student who attended the high school where he worked.
Slane is asking the appellate court to prevent a trial “because the statutes (Nash) is being prosecuted with are unconstitutional.”
“Listen, we're not crazy. We're not arguing that teachers ought to be having sex with their students,” Slane said. “This law is written very poorly and needs to be reviewed by the highest court.”
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, 2011, after the student, then 16, told police she had been having sex with a teacher.
Nash is set to face trial May 6 in the Oklahoma County courtroom of District Judge Jerry D. Bass, who last month overruled Slane's motion to strike down the state's age of consent law and dismiss the case.
“This court cannot conclude the defendant has a constitutionally protected and fundamental right to engage in a sexual relationship with a consenting minor who is a student at the same school where he is employed as a teacher,” Bass wrote in his opinion.
Under Oklahoma law, the age of consent for sexual intercourse 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, the attorney said, was not the girl's teacher when the acts were alleged to have taken place between February 2010 and March 2011.
The girl, Slane has said, testified at Nash's preliminary hearing that she consented to all of the acts and acknowledged taking his phone and initiating contact with him.
Nash, meanwhile, said Monday he is not guilty of all the allegations against him.
“I disagree with what she's saying,” he said when asked if his accuser is lying. “I know that I did not do those things that she is alleging I did.”
Slane acknowledged Monday that he doesn't believe Nash had sex with the girl.
When asked why he was challenging the constitutionality of the state's age-of-consent law, the attorney said he wanted to do everything he could to keep his client from being prosecuted for “laws that shouldn't even be on the books.”
“Anything can happen at trial,” Slane said.