Liberty football coach accused of molesting student
By Staff Reports
Thursday, December 20, 2012
The head football coach at Liberty High School was arrested Thursday on a lewd molestation allegation as well as a complaint that he made a lewd proposal to a minor — a student at the school.
Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies went to the school on Dec. 14 to investigate a report from the administration that Earl Stanley Tennial, 29, had been sending inappropriate text messages to a 15-year-old female student, an arrest report says. The district, which is in southern Tulsa County, also informed the girl’s mother, according to the report.
After being read his Miranda rights, the coach told a deputy that “on or about Dec. 5 he received the initial text message from the 15 year old student,” the report says.
Tennial told the deputy that the tone of the texting conversations initially was “casual, but at some point the content of the texting developed a sexual theme,” the document states.
During the interview, Tennial stated, “We would talk about possibly skipping class or meeting after a wrestling tournament and doing sexual activities,” the Sheriff’s Office alleges in the arrest report.
The 15-year-old girl was interviewed by authorities on Tuesday and said she initiated contact with Tennial by texting him, the document says.
The girl told investigators that Tennial “told her that he thought she was beautiful and that he liked her smile,” according to the report. She also said he had told her that he wanted to have sex with her on his desk, the document says.
There is no allegation that sexual intercourse occurred. However, the report says the girl said that — as they were sitting at his desk — Tennial placed his hands on her waist and pulled her close and that the two kissed for two or three minutes.
She also alleged that he fondled her breast from inside her shirt but outside her bra.
Tennial met with a deputy about midday Thursday at the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office in downtown Tulsa and was placed under arrest, according to the document. He posted bond and was released from the Tulsa Jail on Thursday evening, and he has a Jan. 2 court date, according to the jail’s website.
Liberty Superintendent Donna Campo said Thursday night that Tennial has been suspended with pay and that her recommendation that he be fired will be considered at a Jan. 14 school board meeting.
Campo said the district takes student safety very seriously. She said that when school officials learned of the allegations against Tennial, they immediately launched an investigation and notified law enforcement.
She would not comment about how school officials learned of the allegations.
Liberty Athletic Director Randy Buntin said Thursday that the 2012 season, during which Liberty’s football team posted a 4-6 record, was Tennial’s first as head football coach at the school.
Tennial is Liberty’s third football coach over the past three years. He graduated in 2001 from Glenpool High School, where he participated in football and wrestling.
In football, the Warriors reached the state quarterfinals in each of his junior and senior seasons. He was a state qualifier in wrestling in 2001 at 189 pounds.
World Staff Writer Mark Foster contributed to this story.
Earl Stanley Tennial