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Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2012

Rape, alcohol charges against Oklahoma teacher, Katie Hightower, dropped

A judge has dismissed charges against a former Oklahoma public school teacher accused of second-degree rape of a 16-year-old student and furnishing alcohol to minors.

During a Tuesday preliminary hearing, Pawnee County Associate District Judge Matthew Henry ruled there was not enough evidence to move forward with a rape trial against Katie Hightower.

Katie Hightower

Hightower, age 26, faced rape charges for having sex with one of her students and also faced charges of buying beer for the teen and his friends.

The Judge referenced Oklahoma Statute 37-506, the beverage Hightower was alleged to have provided to students was not included in the statute since it “does not include low-point beer as defined” by law, court documents show. (see more below)

“Based on the investigation and interviews conducted with potential witnesses, we felt there was sufficient evidence to bring charges in the case,” Assistant District Attorney Kyle Alderson said. “But in testimony in open court, from some of the same witnesses, the court didn’t feel the evidence supported the charges.”

When asked if new charges might be brought against Hightower, Alderson didn’t rule it out.

“Osage County and Pawnee County authorities will investigate any and all evidence,” Alderson told reporters. “I can’t comment on details of an ongoing investigation.”

According to an affidavit, surveillance footage at Walmart in Cleveland shows Hightower taking the kids to buy beer and pizza before taking the kids to her home.

The students told deputies they all consumed beer at Hightower’s house, but got bored after Hightower and the 16-year-old boy disappeared into the bedroom. The students left without telling Hightower, because, through the door, they could hear the two engaging in sex, according to the affidavit.

Hightower was later questioned by school officials about her relationship with the boy, and students said she coached them to lie about what happened Oct. 17 at her home, and on another date, showed them graphic photos of a man’s exposed genitals, the affidavit says.

Investigators searched Hightower’s phone and said out of 1,254 calls or text messages sent or received in the month of August, 45 percent of them were to or from the boy. Numerous multimedia messages were also exchanged.

In his ruling, Henry referenced the following:

O.S. 37-506

“Alcoholic beverage” means alcohol, spirits, beer, and wine as those terms are defined herein and also includes every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer and capable of being consumed as a beverage by human beings, but does not include low-point beer as that term is defined in Section 163.2 of this title.

Section 163.2

“Low-point beer” means and includes beverages containing more than one-half of 1 percent alcohol by volume, and not more than 3.2 percent by weight, including by not limited to beer or cereal malt beverages obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion of barley or other grain, malt or similar products.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. Katie Hightower, Oklahoma teacher who had sex with student, made over 1,000 calls and 500 texts to the teen - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] for us Thursday 06 December, 2012 Breaking News > Hometown NewsRape, alcohol charges against Oklahoma teacher, […]

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