In two days, police in Muskogee arrested three men in separate incidents of lewd acts with minors in Oklahoma. Two of the cases involved teachers who were engaged in inappropriate activity with students.
A Rash of Lewd Acts Charges
First arrested was Muskogee High School assistant wrestling coach Donaco Watts, 28. Watts's arrest came after a 15-year-old girl reported to campus police in April that the coach showed her obscene material on his cell phone and invited her to go with him to a secluded area to engage in "some fun adult time."
Watts faces two counts of Oklahoma lewd molestation for showing the pornographic material and making sexual advances toward the girl.
In the second incident, a longtime music teacher was arrested after a 13-year-old boy alleged that Michael George Dunn, 43, forced him to look at pornographic material on his home computer and that he talked to the boy about homosexuality in a lewd manner.
Dunn has taught vocal music and piano lessons for over 20 years, but so far in the investigation, his accuser is the only complainant. Police estimate that Dunn currently has 40 students, and they encourage concerned parents to contact them.
The final incident occurred when Michael Merrifield, 61, was accused of making sexual comments to a 14-year-old boy at a park, following him into a public restroom, and trying to pull his pants down. The victim gave police a partial license plate number and a description matching Merrifield.
The accused man admitted to being in the park but denied all allegations against him. He is being held in jail in lieu of $150,000 bail, and he is charged with one count of lewd molestation and one count of lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16. In Oklahoma, lewd molestation and lewd acts with a minor are felonies.
Fighting Sex Crime Charges
If convicted, the three men each face sentences of three to twenty years in prison and lifetime sex offender registry. Allegations of child sexual abuse are among the most difficult charges an accused person can face. An experienced attorney with a successful record of sex crime defense will help protect the rights of the accused through all stages of the judicial process.