Tyrone Nash

Tyrone Nash was charged in September 2011 with five counts of second-degree rape and five counts of forcible oral sodomy for having an alleged sexual relationship with a student at Western Heights High School, where Nash was the physical education teacher and a coach.

According to an affidavit in the case, the 33-year-old Nash and a then-16-year-old girl allegedly had a consensual sexual relationship. Nash was the alleged victim’s teacher during her freshman year, but was not in that capacity at the time of the incidents, court documents state.

The affidavit contends the teen had at one point taken Nash’s cellphone, obtained his number and began texting him. Nash and the alleged victim both said he had picked her up from a drinking party.

Investigators allege that he and the teen had sex on multiple occasions and, at one point, Nash encouraged her to perform oral sex on another man celebrating his 21st birthday.

Nash maintains his innocence.

Nevertheless, his attorney, David Slane, said that the law governing whether a school employee can have sex with a student who is 16 or older, and over whom the employee does not have supervision, is a violation of privacy and unconstitutional.

In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16.

Slane filed a petition with the state Court of Criminal Appeals on Jan. 7, asking that the court overturn a district judge’s earlier ruling upholding the law.

Slane said the law is overly broad.

He pointed to a similar situation in Arkansas (although the age of consent in that state is 18) in which the court struck down the statute.

“I’m not crazy. I’m not saying it’s OK for teachers to have sex with their students,” Slane said. “What I am saying is that this law is very poorly written. It is not what is called the ... least restrictive way to control something like this.”

Teachers with direct authority over a student should be held to that standard, he said. But Slane said it is a violation
of privacy to prohibit a person of age of consent from having sexual
relations with a school employee who is not in a supervisory position.

“I realize what I’m doing is controversial,” Slane said. “The point is, that’s the law. If you don’t like the law, change it.”

David Slane
Credit: Mark Hancock

Nash said he never once asked himself if what he was alleged to have been doing was illegal.

I’ve said from the beginning is I’ve never had sex with her in the
first place,” Nash said. “The whole deal is ... if a teacher does have
sex with a student they are not in direct authority of, to me, that’s a
regular person.”

Nash’s trial is scheduled for May 6.

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