A youth soccer coach accused of attempting to solicit sexual activity from a 14-year-old girl has been convicted of three of the counts against him.
A Tulsa County jury found Blake Ryan Lewis, 31, guilty of three counts of solicitation of a minor; however, they found him not guilty of two counts of lewd or indecent proposals to a minor under 16.
The case began in August 2015 when Lewis began messaging a 14-year-old girl. Lewis, who met the girl and her mother through a mutual friend, reportedly asked the girl to download Snapchat. When the girl's mother found out that an adult male was messaging her young daughter, she reported her concerns to Jenks police.
Police began an investigation by having a detective assume the girl's identity on social media and continue the conversation with Lewis. The communication between Lewis and the detective he assumed to be a young teen continued from September 2015 until Lewis's arrest on November 4, 2015.
During that time, police say, Lewis offered the girl a "birthday kiss." According to Lewis, however, that statement was meant innocently, although he says it may have been in poor judgment. Lewis accuses police of using that statement to begin entrapment.
As he testified in his own defense, Lewis told jurors that statement “paved the way for someone with a professional agenda to move the conversation” in a way to get him prosecuted. District Judge Kelly Greenough allowed jurors to consider entrapment in one of the counts of lewd proposals to a minor charged against Lewis.
However, Lewis did admit to inappropriate comments toward the girl and admitted to sending a picture of himself in boxer shorts. His defense argued that he never asked for nude pictures of the girl, but he did request pictures of herself in her underwear and pictures of her stomach.
Prosecutors also pointed out comments Lewis made to the girl that indicated his intent was not innocent. They say he told her he wanted to "treat her like an adult," and that he would keep his hands above her clothes unless she asked him not to.
Assistant District Attorney Kate Hunter decried Lewis's attempts to downplay his improper interactions with the girl, calling them "complete hedging and mitigation of what he actually did and his lack of willingness to hold himself accountable."
The case led jurors to a mixed verdict, finding him guilty of three counts and not guilty of two counts. Lewis faced up to 70 years in prison if convicted
of all counts; however, Judge Greenough upheld the jury's recommendation by sentencing him to 120 days in jail followed by sex offender registration. Soliciting
Sexual Conduct or Communication with a Minor by use of Technology is a Level 2 sex offense, and therefore anyone convicted of this crime in Oklahoma
must register as a sex offender for 25 years.
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