Anyone can be accused of a sex crime against a minor in Oklahoma. Some occupations, however, are at particular risk.
Those At Risk for Sex Crimes Charges in Oklahoma
Teachers, day care workers, youth ministers, coaches, and others who spend their days in close contact with children and young adults may be more likely to be accused of lewd acts in Oklahoma simply because of the amount of time they spend with young people.
Close, yet professional, relationships may be misconstrued, young people with crushes on their mentors may fabricate an inappropriate relationship, and angry youth may try to take revenge on an adult by making false accusations. Those accused of sexual contact with a minor may face charges of rape, second degree rape, lewd acts with a minor, forcible oral sodomy, or other sex offenses.
For those accused of any of these crimes, the best outcome lies in protecting one's rights and building a strong defense by hiring an Oklahoma City sex crimes lawyer. Last week, three Oklahomans made local headlines based on allegations of improper sexual contact with young people with whom they worked.
- On Wednesday, October 5, a student at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City reported to police that a school employee made sexually suggestive comments to her on two occasions. The employee was not identified as a teacher by police; however, the alleged incidents were said to have taken place in a football equipment room and in a classroom. The accuser claims that the school employee made suggestive statements to her in the equipment room, and she left. She says that a week later, the man asked her to sit by him at her desk and wrote notes to her asking if she wanted to kiss him. According to school officials, the employee has been suspended during the investigation. It is not clear whether the accused has retained an Oklahoma City sex crime defense attorney, but since he has been removed from his job even prior to an arrest, it seems likely that hiring a lawyer immediately would be in his best interest.
- On Thursday, October 6, the Oklahoma rape lawyer for Tyrone Nash, a basketball coach at Western Heights High School in Oklahoma City, argued that the case against his client should be dismissed. Nash was charged with five counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of second degree rape after a student claimed she had been involved in a sexual relationship with the coach. Nash's attorney argued that his client had passed a lie detector test in which he stated that he had never been sexually involved with the student, and therefore, his case should be dismissed. Nash previously had his bail reduced from $500,000 to $50,000 after his attorney argued that he was not a flight risk. Nash continues to maintain his innocence, and his lawyer says that his client will plead not guilty.
- On Friday, October 7, a Tulsa area youth minister was arrested and charged with multiple counts of first degree rape, lewd acts to a child, and lewd molestation in five felony cases. Joe Cheater, Jr., 39, was charged in Rogers County for alleged incidents involving girls aged 9 to 14. The alleged sexual abuse was said to have begun in January 2006.
Repercussions for Those Accused
Being accused of a sex crime has an immediate impact on one's personal and professional life. In cases of sex crimes against children, the accused is often treated as if he or she is guilty prior to any evidence supporting the accusation, based simply on the words of the accuser. It is critical that the accused seek immediate counsel from an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer in Oklahoma.