Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, July 24 2012 at 4:01 PM, Updated: Tue, July 24 2012 at 4:19 PM
A former volleyball coach from Klamath Falls is behind bars tonight on multiple counts of sexual abuse. The coach is accused of having sexual relations with one of his players.
Klamath County deputy district attorney Sharon Forster says that 52 year old Robert Lloyd Thompson was arrested by Oregon State Police Monday afternoon on 18 counts of sexual abuse...
"A relative of the victim reported it to law enforcement."
Detective Dennis Yaws of the Oregon State Police says the 17 year old victim was on a team coached by Thompson at Mazama High School...
"The girl was talked to by detectives, where she made some disclosures of a relationship with Mr. Thompson."
Forster clarified that the 18 counts of second-degree sexual abuse don't represent multiple victims...
"The charges that this is involved stems from just this one victim. There were multiple incidents over a several month period."
Thompson was a paid volleyball coach at Mazama during the 2011-2012 season. Thompson resigned from the district in May.
Klamath County School Superintendent Greg Thede says that he was shocked to learn of the allegations, and expressed his concern for the victim.
Thompson previously volunteered as a coach at Hosanna Christian School during the 2010-2011 season.
"Mr. Thompson is a local contractor." Noted Detective Yaws. "I believe he does tile work in, and around the community."
Thompson is also charged with tampering with a witness, for allegedly telling the victim what to tell police.
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that there may be other victims in the case. Those with any information are asked to contact Detective Stephanie Gourley of the Oregon State Police at (541) 883-5713.
Thompson is also charged with one count of second-degree burglary. Police say Thompson took the victim to a home that he had been working on at the Running 'Y'.
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.