Part-time John Marshall Track Coach Accused of Rape

Less than a week after becoming a paid employee of the Oklahoma City Public Schools district, a part-time John Marshall High School track coach was suspended without pay, accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student.

Charges 0f Having Sex With a Student

Reports say Elijah Gill, 24, had been a volunteer coach with the track team since December, and on March 31, he was hired as a part-time employee of the district. Five days later, investigators were talking to students about inappropriate text messages. During that discussion, a student told investigators that another student was involved in a sexual relationship with the coach.

Police interviewed the other student, a 16-year-old girl, who allegedly admitted to having sex with the coach on two occasions. 

Reports indicate that other students were aware of the alleged relationship, and some parents say that they had concerns over the way Gill behaved during practices. One told reporters that her daughter had quit the track team after less than a week  because " . . .  she felt uncomfortable because of the way he would look at her and other girls while they were warming up."

As of this writing, the charges have not been filed against the man, and he has not been arrested. However, police are continuing their investigation and say they have not ruled out the possibility that other students may have been involved in inappropriate contact with the part-time coach.

Oklahoma Law Regarding Underage Sex

Under Oklahoma law, a person aged 16 or older has the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity under most circumstances. However, there are certain conditions which deprive that person of the ability to provide legal consent.

These include intoxication or being "unconscious of the nature of the act;" having a mental disability or defect which impedes the capacity to understand the nature of the act;  being under the custody or supervision of a state, county, or municipal agency; or being a student under the age of 20. No one under the custody or supervision of a government agency has the legal capacity to consent to sexual contact with an employee of that agency, and no student under the age of 20 has the legal capacity to consent to sexual contact with an employee of the same school system the student attends. (read more here)

If investigators find sufficient evidence that the coach had sex with the student, he will likely be charged with second degree rape--commonly known as statutory rape. Second degree rape is a felony sex crime punishable by one to 15 years in prison. As a Level 3 sex offense, conviction of statutory rape requires lifetime sex offender registration.

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