In Oklahoma, it is illegal for a teacher--or any employee of a school district--to have a sexual relationship with a student in the same district, even if the student is at least 16, the age of consent in Oklahoma.
In fact, even if the student is as old as 18 or 19--a legal adult--sex with a school district employee aged 18 or older is forbidden by state law.
OK Teacher Accused of Rape
One ex-teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a former student may have circumvented the student/teacher aspect of Oklahoma rape law by quitting his job before beginning the relationship. However, he failed to consider the state's age of consent. Now, he finds himself charged with first degree rape for allegedly engaging in "consensual" sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Clarification of Oklahoma's 1st Degree Rape Laws
Often, people think of first degree rape as violent rape or forcible rape. However, 21 O.S. 1114 lists seven specific instances of first degree rape, including the following:"Rape in the first degree shall include rape committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under fourteen (14) years of age" (21 O.S. 1114a-1).
Reginald William Thompson, 33, is a former middle school social studies teacher at Choctaw Middle School. District officials say he quit his job early last year.
Police say he began a sexual relationship with a student from the school in July, and that the relationship continued until this year. The girl says that she met Thompson while he worked at the school, and that they had sex multiple times since July at a Choctaw park.
In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16 years of age, and anyone younger than 16 is legally unable to consent to sex. If the minor is 14 or 15, the adult aged 18 or older will be charged with second degree rape, frequently called statutory rape. However, if the minor is aged 13 or younger, the crime is first degree rape.
Thompson was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on Tuesday, where he is being held on $50,000 bond for the rape complaint. He is also accused of using a cell phone to send lewd photos of himself to the girl, so it is likely that he will face additional charges when formally charged.If convicted of first degree rape, the defendant faces a minimum of 5 years in prison and the possibility of life without parole.
Upon release from prison, he would be required to register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender. Rape is a Level 3 Sex Offense, which means that he would be required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the rest of his life.