Muskogee Coach Arrested For Rape, Exposing Others To HIV
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - A Muskogee high school cheerleading coach is in jail on charges of rape and exposing others to HIV.
Elton Rhoades goes by a few different names. He's known as "Trey" at the high school and entertainer Keaton Zane Paige to the transgender community.
Detectives say he met the girl at a teen transgender support group.
The group Open Arms Youth Project gives gay, lesbian and transgender youth a place to build a supportive community.
Rhoades is very involved with the group and met a 15-year-old girl there.
Court documents say they had unprotected sex several times and he never revealed he had HIV.
Friday afternoon the Fugitive Warrant Unit arrested Rhodes at his south Tulsa apartment after months of detectives building a case against him.
He's a high school cheer coach, volunteer and now accused sex offender. Detectives say he had consensual, unprotected sex three times with the 15-year-old girl.
"They started a relationship and then it was suspected that he may be HIV positive," said Corporal Eric Leverington with Tulsa Police.
Investigators said the two met at the Open Arms Youth Project, where Rhoades is known by most there as Keaton Zane Paige.
Pictures show he was very involved, hosting events and parties for the group. He's also held many pageant titles, like Mr. Gay Arkansas and Mr. Gay Oklahoma City.
Now he faces three rape charges and three charges of exposing others to HIV.
"It's something we take very seriously, which is why we got these charges filed with the district attorney's office,” Leverington said.
Court documents say the teen came to police the same day she tested positive for HIV. The document also says when first interviewed Rhoades lied to them about having sex with her.
It says he then changed his story after listening to a recorded conversation he had with the minor about their sexual encounter.
Records show he was first diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and had unprotected sex with the teen in March of 2015.
Leverington said, "If you knowingly have it and then have sex with someone that is the crime itself."
At this point, Leverington isn't aware of any other victims but said he's not ruling it out and suggests anyone who has had sex with Rhoades to get tested.
We reached out to Open Arms Youth Project who said they didn't have a comment at this time and were unaware of the allegations against Rhoades.