A former middle school teacher pleaded no contest last week to an Oklahoma first degree rape charge and three counts of soliciting a minor in Oklahoma.
Stephanie Diane Harris, 29, was accused of sending explicit text messages and nude photos of herself to a 13-year-old male student. Harris was an eighth-grade computer teacher in Marble City, Oklahoma, in 2008, when she sent a text message to the victim asking him if he wanted to have sex with her.
Though the student agreed to sex with his teacher, Oklahoma statutory rape laws hold that no one under the age of 16 can consent to sex. Furthermore, sex with a person under the age of 14 is considered first degree rape. Stephanie Harris is scheduled for sentencing on February 16.
The minimum sentence for first degree rape in Oklahoma is 5 years in prison. Also, Harris will likely be required to register for life as an Oklahoma sex offender. State clearly defines seven types of rape as first degree rape in Oklahoma:
- rape of a person under the age of 14 by a person over the age of 18
- rape of a person unable to consent due to mental illness or "unsoundness of mind"
- rape where the victim is drugged as a means of forcing submission
- rape of a person who is unconscious of the act, and the perpetrator is aware of the fact
- rape accomplished through force, violence, or the threat of force or violence
- rape by instrumentation that results in bodily harm to the victim
- rape by instrumentation of a person under the age of 14
Rape Laws in the State of Oklahoma
First degree rape and first degree rape by instrumentation in Oklahoma are serious offenses that can have dire consequences for those convicted. Penalties for rape conviction may include mandatory lifetime sex offender registration, life in prison, and lengthy probation for those paroled and those not sentenced to the maximum term.
If you are charged with rape or any other sex crime in Oklahoma, consult an experienced sex crime defense attorney with a proven record of successful rape defense.