There may be no other criminal charge that has such a swift and long-lasting impact on a person's life than that of a sex crime. The prospect of conviction and carrying the stigma of "sex offender" for the rest of one's life can drive a person to despair. Unfortunately, this overwhelming sense of hopelessness can lead to terrible acts of desperation. Such seems to be the case for an Oklahoma high school softball coach charged with a crime after allegedly having sex with one of the players on the school team.
Allegations of Statutory Rape
Reports say Brad Alan Evans, 38, was fired Tuesday from Sapulpa High School, where he worked as a teacher's assistant and as head softball coach. Evans was terminated from the district after police informed administrators that they were investigating allegations that the coach had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old softball player.
The girl's mother filed a protective order against Evans, stating that the coach's relationship with her daughter came to light when Evans's wife found him in bed with the teen. The girl allegedly admitted to investigators that she had sex with Evans on two recent occasions in late February and early March.
On Thursday, three days after he was allegedly caught in the act with the student and two days after he was fired, the man was charged in Creek County District Court with two counts of second degree rape. By Thursday night, he was dead. Reports say he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It is unfortunate that the prospects facing people accused of sex crimes can seem so bleak that some feel they have no other option but to end their lives.
Oklahoma Age of Consent Laws
Remember, the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16. That means that in most cases, the girl involved in this relationship would have been able to legally consent to sex (read more here). However, since her partner was an employee of the school district she attended, the relationship was forbidden. Under Oklahoma law, those who are considered to be in custody or under supervision are unable to legally consent to sex with anyone considered to be in a position of authority. The school employee, DOC employee, law enforcement officer, DHS worker, or other employee of the agency that holds custody or supervision is charged with a crime if such a relationship occurs.
Second degree rape is commonly known as statutory rape. Often, it occurs as mutually willing sex between an adult over 18 and a minor under 16. It also occurs as a result of student-teacher sex, or sex between a jailer and an inmate. Although statutory rape involves apparently consensual sex, there is no legal consent. This makes it a sex crime. Despite the lack of force or violence, the crime is designated as a Level 3 sex offense--the highest risk category, alongside forcible rape and child molestation. As a "high risk" sex offense, conviction requires lifetime sex offender registration, despite the historically low rate of recidivism among people convicted of statutory rape.
If you are accused of a sex crime, it can be tough. It is seldom, if ever, an easy road. However, the situation is not hopeless. There will be challenges, and things will be difficult, but an experienced and successful sex crime defense lawyer can help you fight the charges. Do not give up. Call for help.