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Broken Arrow Public Schools Coach Accused of Illicit Snapchat Conversation with Teen

Ryan Coventon - Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Broken Arrow man is in jail and terminated from his job after being accused of engaging in a sexually explicit Snapchat conversation with a 16-year-old girl.

Carnell Matthews, 43, is a former middle school track coach and behavior coach with Broken Arrow Public Schools' alternative education facility, Options Academy. Matthews was arrested on July 11 after an investigation into allegations that he solicited nude photos from a teen girl via Snapchat. The investigation was prompted in May when the girl's mother notified police of a sexually explicit Snapchat conversation on her daughter's phone.

The school district initially suspended Matthews, but as the investigation progressed, he was terminated from employment with Broken Arrow schools. The district issued a statement saying, "While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the type of behavior alleged in this case will not be tolerated by anyone associated with our schools."

Tulsa County prosecutors have filed two felony charges against the former coach: using technology to engage in sexual communication with a minor (21 O.S. 1040.13a) and soliciting a minor for indecent exposure (21 O.S. 1021.5). As of this writing, Matthews remains jailed on $40,000 bond ($25,000 for Count 1 and $15,000 for Count 2).

Court records indicate that Matthews's wife filed for divorce five days after his arrest, citing a "complete and irreconcilable incompatibility."

According to Oklahoma state law, any person who solicits a minor to engage in indecent exposure is guilty of a felony punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison, unless the minor involved is under the age of 12. In that case, the crime is punishable by a minimum of 25 years.

Using technology to solicit sexual communication with a minor is likewise a felony. It is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Both of the above offenses are considered sex crimes; conviction of these felonies requires the convicted party to register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender. Sex offender registration imposes numerous restrictions that last far beyond the initial penalty of incarceration. Click here to learn more.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

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