Former Western Heights Coach Fights To Overturn Rape Charges

Thursday, October 11th 2012, 5:55 pm
By: News 9

A former high school coach accused of having sex with a student is once again claiming his innocence.

Tyrone Nash and his attorneys appeared before a judge on Thursday to challenge the state's age of consent laws.

The judge listened to what he called "interesting" arguments from both sides as defense attorney David Slane defended his motion asking the judge to dismiss rape charges against Nash.

Nash did not dodge the cameras outside of the courtroom in Oklahoma County, but instead took his familiar stance.

"I just claim innocence in the first place," Nash said.

9/4/2012 Related Story: Fight Brews Against Oklahoma Law Prohibiting Teacher-Student Sex

The statements come again more than a year after his arrest, when a Western Heights high school senior came forward claiming she and Nash shared a sexual relationship for nearly two years. 

The alleged victim claims she was 16 and had consensual sex with Nash. Under state law, 16 is the age of consent, but there is an exception to the rule for student and school employees. Slane says the laws are unconstitutional.

"It's written in such a way that students, while needing to be protected, also need to recognize that people have a right to engage in sexual activity once they are of age," Slane said.

9/9/2011 Related Story: OKC High School Basketball Coach Accused Of Having Sex With Student

Slane defended his argument to Judge Bass by explaining Nash did not have the alleged victim in class, so he was not in a position of authority.

"That's why this law, in our opinion, is poorly written. They should make it specifically that the person has to have authority and control but [lawmakers] didn't say that. They just said employees, so it could be a bus driver or school crossing guard or the guy mowing the grass that does not have authority," said Slane.

The state argued back that all teachers and coaches like Nash are viewed as authority figures to every student at the school, but still Nash disagrees.

"As teachers we also have to protect ourselves because it's not fair for the student to have all of the power and the teachers not to be able to protect themselves," said Nash.  

The judge told the court he needed extra time to review both the state and the defenses arguments.

A jury Trial in the case was set for October 29, but could now get delayed.

1/31/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma High School Coach Will Stand Trial In Rape Case