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More Details Revealed in Allegations against Former Band Teacher

25-May-2015

On the heels of the sentencing of one former Oklahoma teacher convicted of molesting a 12-year-old student come new details into the investigation of another former teacher. 

In April, police began investigating former Luther band director Kyle Whitmus on allegations that he was involved in a months-long inappropriate relationship with a student. Whitmus was suspended on April 6, and he resigned later in the month. At the time of his resignation, the superintendent of Luther Schools said that he felt "compromised" by accepting the resignation, but determined that allowing an irrevocable resignation was a quicker and less costly method of getting the teacher out of the schools than to move for termination.

When the investigation began, police noted that Whitmus, the Luther Middle School and High School band director, had been previously reprimanded and suspended for two days in 2012 after allowing a student to come to his hotel room alone during a band trip to Dallas. 

In the current case, Whitmus is again accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student, and the allegations in court documents reveal that he could soon be facing a first degree rape charge. The former band director is accused of having sex with a 12-year-old student.

Reports say rumors swirled about the relationship between Whitmus and the student, but other students did not say anything about their suspicions to authorities because the teacher would "let them do whatever they wanted." They said that he would put on a movie during class, turn it up loud, and he and the girl would go into his office alone.

The girl allegedly admitted that she had a crush on the band director, and that relationship became sexual last November. She said that it began last fall with fondling and kissing, and it progressed. In January, she says, the two had sex in a music room after class.

Whitmus has not been charged pending the investigation, but investigators say the investigation is nearly complete and charges will soon be presented to the Oklahoma County District Attorney. 

Based on the reported allegations, the former band director will likely face charges including lewd molestation and first degree rape.

Often, when an adult has sex with a willing minor, the charge he or she faces will be second degree rape, or statutory rape. In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16, and no one under the age of 16 has the legal ability to consent to sex with anyone over the age of 18. Furthermore, state law prohibits sex between students under the age of 20 and teachers or other school employees aged 18 or older. In most cases, non-forcible sex between a student and a teacher would be prosecuted as second degree rape.

However, Oklahoma law stipulates seven acts of first degree rape--among them, sex with a child under 14 committed by someone over 18. Regardless of the child's willingness to engage in sexual activity with the adult, the act is prosecuted as first degree rape, the most serious rape classification in Oklahoma. Whereas second degree rape carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, first degree rape carries a minimum of 5 years to life in prison.



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