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September 5, 2012

Fight Brews Against Oklahoma Law Prohibiting Teacher-Student Sex

9-5-2012 Oklahoma:

OKLAHOMA CITY - There is a push to take out wording of a law that prohibits students and teachers from having sex with each other.

An Oklahoma City attorney and his client say the law should be declared unconstitutional and are willing to take their fight to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The story that created the battle began in September of 2011 when the state accused a teacher at Western Heights High School of having sex with a 16-year-old student. Now, the defense is hoping a new motion will make the charges disappear.

Prosecutors have charged Western Heights teacher and coach Tyrone Nash with second-degree rape and oral sodomy. Court papers allege a 16-year-old girl consented to having sex with Nash. Under Oklahoma law, the age of consent is 16, but it's not that simple.

There is an exception for a relationship between a teacher and student that can land a teacher behind bars and on the sex offender registry.

"This is a bad law that needs to be changed," criminal defense attorney David Slane said.

Slane says his client, Nash, was not the teen's teacher at the time of the reported sex. He says the law needs to be strictly tailored for those with direct power and authority over students.

"We're not crazy," Slane said. "We're not arguing that students should be having sex with their teachers."

Slane is not alone in the fight. A nearly identical law was struck down in Arkansas by its supreme court. Slane says his client's fight could very likely send him to our state's high court against some serious opposition.

"We realize that if we win that, clearly, the State of Oklahoma is going to appeal that," Slane said. "I'm certain they will have an army of lawyers to fight me on this."

Slane will appear before an Oklahoma County District Court judge on Wednesday to begin the fight.

Nash's case is set to go to trial in late October of 2012. The defense is expecting a ruling on its motion before the trail begins. ..Source.. by Michael Konopasek

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