A former basketball coach at Western Heights High School is going to prison for the next two years for having sex with a student.
Tyrone L. Nash and his family pleaded to the court for mercy, but Oklahoma County District Judge Jerry Bass declined to spare Nash from a prison sentence.
Nash, 35, was convicted last month on five counts of second-degree rape and five counts of forcible oral sodomy. Prior to trial, Nash had tried to get those charges dismissed and the case thrown out, arguing that, because the girl was 16, she would have been old enough to give consent under state law.
Prosecutors contended, given the circumstances of the relationship, that didn't matter -- state law makes no consent exception in cases involving a teacher and a student.
Nash never admitted to having sexual relations with the student and testified vehemently to that claim during a week-long bench trial. But at Thursday's sentencing, Judge Bass told Nash he believed he lied under oath.
"There is no doubt in my mind you had sex with that student," Bass stated, explaining this was one reason he was intent on sending him to prison.
"Obviously, we are disappointed with the judge's ruling," said David Slane, Nash's attorney.
Slane told reporters, if the rape conviction wasn't enough, having to go to prison ensures Nash will lose everything.
"These kind of allegations, whether they are true or not, ruin people's lives," said Slane. "He's lost his career, his freedom."
Bass did show Nash some mercy. Each of the rape convictions carried a possible sentence of 10 years. Bass agreed to allow Nash to serve them concurrently and suspended all but two years. Nash will then be on probation the remaining eight years.
Bass explained the prison time represents the two years that his victim was tormented at school because of their sexual relationship, which the victim testified became public knowledge. Still, even on his way to jail, Nash didn't waiver on his claim of innocence.
"I didn't do anything wrong," Nash said.
Bass criticized Nash for continuing to deny any wrongdoing, saying, "I don't believe you are truthful, even to this day."
When asked if he had anything to say in response to the judge's comment, Nash said, "I disagree."
"It doesn't matter what I say," Nash went on. "It's guilty until proven innocent."
Nash and his attorney plan to appeal the judge's ruling, as well as, the state's age of consent law.
He will now have to register as a level 3 sex offender, the most restrictive level. Bass did make an exception though; he will allow Nash to see his child.