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Suspended Murray coach faces 10 charges

By Daniel Paullingdpaulling@paducahsun.com

MURRAY - Suspended Murray High School assistant boys basketball coach Kwen Trice faces 10 charges of third-degree rape after his arraignment Tuesday before Calloway District Court Judge Randall A. Hutchens.

Trice, 30, of 502 N. Sixth St. in Murray, was arrested April 11 and charged with five counts of third-degree rape. Another five counts were filed when a second alleged victim came forward.

His preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. May 7.

Trice has been employed the past three years as a teaching assistant in the alternative education program within the Murray Independent School District and as a basketball coach. School system attorney David Buckingham said Trice was suspended without pay and that the first set of five charges stem from an alleged involvement with a Murray High School student.

Trice also coached an AAU girls basketball team.

Rape in the third degree, a Class D felony, carries a punishment of one to five years. If Trice is found guilty on all charges, he could serve a minimum of one year if the charges are served concurrently or a maximum of 20 years, according to Paducah lawyer Jeremy Ian Smith.

Smith isn't connected to Trice's case but represented Sammy Montgomery, a former Paducah Middle School coach who was charged in 2012 with one count of rape in the third degree and one count of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Montgomery pleaded guilty in September 2012 and accepted a plea deal that included a 31⁠2-year prison term. He was also required to complete the state sex offender treatment program and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Speaking about similar cases, Smith said the commonwealth attorney must consult with an alleged victim or victims about whether to extend a plea deal. The commonwealth attorney isn't bound by a victim's wishes but will usually follow them, he added.

"It's standard for an offer to be made, but if victims strenuously oppose, the commonwealth attorney won't," Smith said. "If an offer isn't made, it's usually because the facts are so heinous or the victims are very vocal about not making the offer."

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