So . . . Oregon has a new “get tough” law when it comes to high school coach sex scandals? And the first guy they sentence under the new law has a 17-year-old “victim” who admits that it was her fault: that she purposely flirted with 26-year-old former Reynolds High School basketball coach Dorian Rudolph Gibson and wanted to have sex with him?
This is not something we hear about very often: that the victims in these incidents actually admit their role in it. Hard to tell what this girl’s motivation is (she claims she still wants to see Gibson) but her pleas didn’t make a difference with Judge Angel Lopez: Gibson received six months in prison, three years probation and has to register as a sex offender. Prior to the new law, he would have likely received only probation. He could have gotten 18 months. This strange combination of events will no doubt add to the water cooler discussion of coaches and teachers having sex with students and what to do about it.
The judges harshest words were for the victim, telling her that, “If you have contact with Mr. Gibson (during his probation period), you might as well drive him down to the gates of the Oregon State Penitentiary.” Wow, that’s cold . . . but apparently true under this new law.
Here’s more details from Oregon Live:
“I was constantly flirting with him, asking him to play video games,” said the girl, whom The Oregonian is not naming because she’s the victim of sexual abuse. “…I wanted to have sex with him. I’m old enough to know what I was doing.”
Judge Angel Lopez wasn’t swayed. He said he could not let former coach Dorian Rudolph Gibson off without spending some time behind bars. After Gibson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse, the judge approved a plea agreement giving Gibson six months in jail and three years probation.
Gibson also will have to register as a sex offender, although he will be allowed to ask a court to end that in 10 years. Gibson is one of the first to be sentenced under a new state law that cracks down on coaches who have sex with their underage athletes. In the past, such offenses could result in probation.
Ray Thomas, whose 14-year-old daughter was sexually abused by her Portland track coach, lobbied for the tougher legislation which took effect this year. Coaches who have no prior criminal history now face up to 18 months in prison under Oregon sentencing guidelines for second-degree sexual abuse.
Prosecutor Don Rees was willing to shave a year off the recommended sentence because an evaluation showed Gibson was at low risk of re-offending, he’d expressed remorse and cooperated with police. Rees said the girl’s father wanted Gibson to do some jail time, but not the full sentence.
Gibson’s two roommates reported him to Gresham police when they saw Gibson and the girl, who had just turned 17, go into his bedroom and heard them having sex.