The Phillips & Associates Oklahoma Law Blog


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By Dustin Phillips on
February 8, 2016
January 26, 2022

After a 17-year-old student reported an alleged sexual assault near the campus of Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, a fellow student was arrested on rape and forcible sodomy complaints.

Parents of students at the high school began hearing rumors of the alleged assault and began questioning school officials, demanding to know why they were not given more information about a rape near campus.

In response, Nathan Hale High School Principal Caleb Starr sent a letter to parents explaining the situation:

"Yesterday, a report of an alleged sexual assault was made by one of our students. As soon as I became aware of this report, I immediately notified the Tulsa Police Department as well as the Education Service Center."

Although parents were critical of the lack of information provided, the principal noted that communication with the public necessarily must be limited "to preserve the integrity of the investigation and privacy of all students."

The investigation began Thursday afternoon when a 17-year-old special needs student told school employees that she had been raped off-campus. Later that evening, the accused student, 18-year-old Sean Lynn Adams, turned himself into police and allegedly admitted to having sex with the girl. He was arrested on complaints of first degree rape and forcible sodomy.

As of this writing, he remains in custody at the Tulsa County Jail, held on $100,000 bond.

Under Oklahoma law, there are multiple acts of sexual penetration which are considered first degree rape. Typically, people think of first degree rape as forcible rape, but there are several acts of first degree rape which are accomplished without the use of force or violence:

  • rape committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under fourteen (14) years of age; or
  • rape committed upon a person incapable through mental illness or any unsoundness of mind of giving legal consent regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or
  • rape accomplished where the victim is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent, administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the victim to submit; or
  • rape accomplished where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this fact is known to the accused;

While the details of the case have not been released, because the alleged victim is described as a "special needs student," it seems possible that the 18-year-old student was charged with first degree rape and forcible sodomy for having sexual contact with a person who was incapable of providing legal consent.

In Oklahoma, first degree rape is punishable by 5 years to life in prison and lifetime sex offender registration.

Image Credit: Tulsa Public Schools


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