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June 24, 2017

Charges outlined against Whitmus


whitmus (1)
Counselors likely will be asked to work with Luther band students after their former band director was arrested this morning in Oklahoma City on rape charges.

Superintendent Sheldon Buxton said he will meet with principals on Wednesday but counseling, he said, “would be best for the situation.” Many band parents have expressed concern for their students since the news broke today.

Kyle Whitmus resigned last spring after troubling allegations surfaced of inappropriate activity with a young student. His arrest is on five counts of sexual misconduct involving a sexual relationship with a child under the age of 14. The charges include rape in the first degree on Jan. 1, 2015, three counts of lewd, indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16, on November 1, 2014, and one count of soliciting sexual conduct with a minor on Nov. 1. 2014.

Jessica Brown, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said the investigation took so long because of numerous interviews conducted with students which involved complicated scheduling, and evaluation of forensics such as cell phone texts and records. She said since Whitmus was no longer in the district, he was not a threat while investigators worked the case to establish “probable cause” to arrest him.

Brown said most OSBI investigators carry 16 – 18 active cases at a time, and while she calls this case troubling, some of the backlog of cases involves more violent crimes. She said the investigation continues.

The victim reportedly no longer attends Luther Public Schools.

Dr. Buxton issued a statement this afternoon:
The school district became aware of allegations of improper sexual contact between Mr. Whitmus and a student in April of 2015.  Mr. Whitmus was immediately suspended and resigned shortly thereafter.   Law enforcement was notified by the school district and it has cooperated fully with the OSBI in its investigation.   The safety of students continues to be the District’s highest priority.

 

Here is the rest of the media advisory distributed by the OSBI on Feb. 2, 2016:

Early this morning, the Oklahoma City Police Department Impact Unit arrested the Luther band director at his Oklahoma City home located in the 12000 block of SE 73rd Street. Monday, OSBI agents received a warrant for the arrest of Kyle Whitmus (d.o.b. 8/17/1982) for five counts of sexual misconduct involving a sexual relationship with a child under the age of 14, including rape in the first degree. The charges stem from Whitmus’ contact with a preteen female at the school. Once the allegations were reported to the school in April 2015, Whitmus was suspended from teaching. The allegations came to light when a Luther Middle School student told her mother about the relationship. That mother went to the victim’s father who, in turn, went to the Luther Police Department. An investigator with Luther P.D. performed a preliminary investigation and then requested OSBI assistance. Department of Homeland Security investigators forensically searched the victim’s cell phone for messages sent to and from Whitmus’ cell phone containing sexual content. Whitmus was booked into the Oklahoma County jail this morning on one count of rape in the first degree, three counts of indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16, and one count of solicit sexual conduct with a minor. His bond is set at $200,000.

 

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