SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – There was confusion in the courtroom Thursday over a case involving a former Shawnee basketball coach accused of sexually assaulting underaged athletes.

The preliminary hearing for Ron Arthur has been pushed back by a week, because the victims have asked the district attorney to recuse himself over what they see as a conflict of interest.

“They should have been made aware that there was some type of relationship there so that we could have asked for this a long time ago,” said Deputy Amber Soule, with the Pott. County Sheriff’s Office.

“I try to be as accommodating as I can to victims,” said District Attorney Allan Grubb.

Ron Arthur’s preliminary hearing was pushed back to April 29 at 1:30 p.m.

The former Shawnee basketball coach was arrested in August on several felony sex crime charges involving a teen. The lead investigator on the case, Deputy Soule, said the 51 year old groomed and abused students for at least 15-years while the school district allegedly covered it up.

“Ron Arthur had a code of privacy,” said Soule during an April 6 news conference. “What happens in the gym, in the locker room, stays in the locker room.”

RONALD ARTHUR mugshot
Ronald Arthur

Special District Judge David Cawthon was visibly angry in the courtroom Thursday, after the judge said he never received a formal request for a continuance. Cawthon said he only received a verbal request just before lunch.

However, the case needs more time because the victim’s family wants the Attorney General’s office to step in.

“They viewed that there was a conflict between me and one of the defense attorneys on the case,” said Grubb. “She worked on my prior campaign and she may be working on my current one. I’m trying to sort out who’s going to be working on my campaign.”

“The fact that attorneys work together does not necessarily mean a conflict. But with the victims taking an appearance of a conflict, I try to inform the survivors if there’s an appearance of impropriety to any party involved in the case, then I will do what is right,” said the district attorney.

Adding to the judge’s frustration, a member of the DA’s team told the judge that the District Attorney’s Office mailed a letter by the postal service to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office the day before the preliminary hearing.

Grubb told KFOR the person at the AG’s office in charge of handing off cases has recently switched and didn’t know who to email. The correct person has now been notified.

“There’s so much media attention here, there’s so much politics there, there’s just too much here for it to continue here. And I would rather it be taken somewhere else,” said Soule.

News 4 reached out to Ron Arthur’s representation but did not hear back.