Former Ninnekah girls basketball coach pleads guilty in sexual grooming case

A former girls basketball coach at Ninnekah High School pleaded guilty Thursday in Grady County District Court to 10 felony charges, including sexual battery and lewd or indecent acts against a child under 16 according to a story in The Oklahoman..
 As part of his plea, Ronald Gene Akins, 56, agreed to be sentenced to a total of 40 years, with 15 years to be served in prison followed by 25 years on probation and registering as a sex offender.
 More than 50 people in the courtroom, including victims and their families, looked on as Akins, wearing a blue suit coat and blue jeans, stood and quietly answered when District Judge Kory Kirkland asked him if he understood his crimes, and punishment.
 “Yes, sir,” Akins said repeatedly.
 Grady County Assistant District Attorney Morgan Lankford read aloud a statement from Shelby Boyd, 28, who was a victim of her former coach’s sexual grooming.
 Boyd has long maintained that while she was a student in the eighth grade at Friend Public School where Akins once coached, Akins started isolating her and he eventually forced himself on her multiple times.
 “It’s been 15 years since Mr. Akins groomed and sexually abused me,” Boyd said in her statement. “Fifteen years of overwhelming shame, guilt, self-blame, anxiety, depression and, most of all, waiting for justice. This crime has left me with deep emotional scars that I will carry with me the rest of my life.
 “As a direct result of Mr. Akins’ actions, I have not only struggled with trusting others, but more importantly the ability to trust myself. I have spent years and countless hours in therapy fighting for my life back and undoing all the damage he has inflicted upon me.”