OKLAHOMA CITY – A former high school coach convicted of rape in the metro learns his punishment.
Thursday, a judge sentenced Tyrone Nash to serve two years behind bars with another eight years on probation.
After a bench trial, the judge convicted Nash of having a sex with a 16-year-old former student.
He was convicted of five counts of rape and five counts of forcible sodomy.
Nash has always denied that he had sex with the victim.
That denial led Nash to refuse a plea deal by prosecutors that would have kept him out of prison.
“My client was offered probation and chose to go to trial and a judge believed her over him. Now he’s going to prison, that’s the reality,” said Nash’s attorney, David Slane.
Slane admits the sticking point that held up a plea agreement may have been Nash being required to register as a sex offender, something his guilty verdict will force him to do anyway.
Now, Nash will have to register as a sex offender for life.
“I think sometimes cases can be worked out, but because the registration is so harsh, it makes it difficult to plead guilty because you know you’ll live a life of shame,” said Slane.
Prosecutors say Nash, a former boy’s basketball coach at Western Heights High School, met the victim at school and allegedly carried on a two-year sexual relationship at Nash’s home
“These allegations whether true or not, ruin lives,” said Slane. “He’s lost his career, he’s lost his freedom.”
The legal fight isn’t over.
Nash will continue to fight the state statute, which makes it a crime for any school employee to have sex with a student, even if the sex is consensual and the student is of consenting age.
Nash is also facing a civil suit from the victim and he will appeal the judge’s sentence.