Anybody out there believing Joshua Tinch’s alibi when he was confronted with evidence that he was communicating, having sex and smoking pot with a teen-age student at Iroquois High (another great news item for my alma mater!).
Tinch’s attorney told media that the charges are false, that Tinch wasn’t in town on the weekend the victim claims they had sex, and that Tinch has lots of girlfriends and responded with “Who’s this?” to many of the texts.
Tinch, who was fired as an Iroquois instructor in August as a result of the incident, may have failed to realize the leverage the girl would have on him. And the JCPS report reads like a soap opera of a woman scorned who got her revenge after Tinch didn’t giver her the proper attention for her birthday.
The 29-year-old former two-sport star at U of L had this excuse for the 102 texts, 13 phone calls and one (I’d really like to see this) video message discovered in phone records: he thought the texts were from someone else, that because as a famous athlete, he gets lots of texts from strangers.
That’s a little hard to believe, but it’s also true that there are plenty of cases in which prominent individuals get charged with a crime based on one person’s story. Tinch’s attorney says Tinch will appeal his firing and that it should be criminal to file such false charges.
I don’t know much about Tinch, except I remember him as a popular athlete at U of L, playing football and basketball and showcasing a big personality. But the evidence suggests he made a huge mistake.
Tinch originally denied having any contact with the girl.
From the C-J story:
the two had phone conversations and exchanged text messages, the report said. During one phone conversation, the girl told Tinch that she would go out with him if he picked her up.
Tinch took her to a house where he smoked marijuana and then gave the girl a “full body” massage, the report said. It said the two then engaged in oral sex and vaginal intercourse.
Afterward, they continued to exchange text messages, but the girl became angry with Tinch after he did not respond to several text messages about getting together on her birthday, the investigation report said. She then revealed to Tinch in a text message that she was only 16 and would turn 17 on her birthday.
Oops. Tinch should be worried that he’ll be charged with a crime. The tolerance level in America for sexual deviance is being lowered, especially with the Penn State saga in the news every day. If prosecutors were to prove that Tinch had sex with an underage girl, and as a teacher he was in a position of authority, things would get much worse for him.
Remember the Manual teacher, Carrie Shafer, who was caught at Miles Park supplying alcohol to a minor? She was not charged with a sex crime, even though police found condoms near the spot where she was parked, partially nude, with a 17-year-old male student. Instead, she escaped relatively easy: she was sentenced to one year for unlawful transaction with a minor and three years for custodial interference. Her plea agreement kept her out of jail and she got three years probation and a $1,000 fine.
I wonder if Tinch will be so lucky.
In order for Tinch to be charged, according to public information officer Bill Patteson of the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, someone would have to come forward and file a complaint. That could be either the victim, someone acting on the victim’s behalf, or the police. In Shafer’s case, since the police discovered her in the act, police brought charges.
Patteson said sex charges might be difficult to prove in Tinch’s case, since the evidence in the JCPS report is based on text messages, which are considered circumstantial.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Tinch not being charged with something.