Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, September 11 2012 at 4:35 PM, Updated: Tue, September 11 2012 at 4:46 PM
A former high school volleyball coach from Klamath Falls has pled 'guilty' to charges of sexual abuse for having sex with one of his students.
52 year old Robert Lloyd Thompson entered a change of plea this morning, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Thompson was arrested by Oregon State Police on July 23rd for having sex with a 17 year old female victim.
Thompson served as volleyball coach for the victim at Mazama High School during the 2011-2012 season. He resigned from the position in May.
Thompson confessed to Judge Roxanne Osborne...
"As the victim's volleyball coach, your honor, I used that position of power and influence to create a sexual relationship."
Thompson will serve 2 years in prison, and submit to 3 years of post-prison supervision as part of a negotiated agreement.
Klamath County Senior Deputy District Attorney Sharon Forster says Thompson took the victim to homes that he was working on as a contractor...
"And was using those houses to take the victim to to engage in this activity."
Thompson expressed his remorse to the judge...
"And essentially...have torn two families apart."
Forster notes that the victim was in court at the time of the sentencing...
"We do not have any other victims, we've investigated it thoroughly, and are confident that this was the only victim."
Thompson must register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.
Klamath County Schools Superintendent Greg Thede notes that teachers, coaches, and assistants have all undergone additional training to help prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.