The Oklahoman and KOCO report that an Oklahoma City high school teacher has been suspended with pay for allegedly showing nude photos of himself to a student on a computer at the school. The student who claims she is the victim of indecent exposure says that the teacher first showed her photos of himself with his family, and then showed posed, nude photographs of himself.
Claims of Inappropriate Texting
The student goes on to claim that the teacher had earlier sent her "inappropriate" text messages and "popped the elastic of her panties during computer classes." Approximately a week after his suspension, the teacher was arrested; however, he was released after eight hours, and no charges have been filed pending the investigation.
According to an Oklahoma defense attorney who has consulted with the accused, "People get arrested all of the time for crimes they didn't commit. Accusations get made against teachers all of the time by students, or by family members, that end up having no merit whatsoever." In fact, this is not even the first time this particular teacher has been accused of sexual misconduct.
In February of 2009, the teacher was accused of inappropriately touching a student, but no charges were filed due to lack of evidence and conflicting witness statements. The reader comments following the article describing the incident clearly show the devastating effect an accusation against a teacher can have on the accused.
The comments demonstrate outrage that the teacher is suspended with pay, even though the teacher has not even been charged with any sex crime. Readers are horrified that he is currently not in jail after allegedly exposing himself to a minor, but the alleged victim is "19 or 20 years old," according to The Oklahoman, and not a minor at all. Accusations of crimes of a sexual nature are justifiably taken very seriously.
However, there are many reasons a student might falsely accuse a teacher: anger over bad grades or discipline, retribution for a teacher spurning a student's own overtures, or even as an attempt to gain attention or sympathy from others. While the accused is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty, when it comes to sexual allegations against teachers, the accused is often convicted in the eyes of the public, regardless of any facts or evidence surrounding the case.
A competent, experienced Oklahoma sex crimes defense lawyer will look at the factual evidence--or lack thereof--and aggressively fight to ensure the rights of the accused are upheld.