A former Prue High School teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student has pleaded not guilty in a Pawnee County District Courtroom.
Katie Megan Hightower, 26, was arraigned before Associate District Judge Matthew Henry on Tuesday morning.
Hightower was arrested and charged last week with second-degree rape of a minor and furnishing an alcoholic beverage to minors, both felonies.
According to court documents, students at Prue High School in Osage County told deputies Hightower bought a group beer after a football scrimmage on Aug. 17, took them to her home and disappeared into the bedroom to have sexual intercourse with one of the underage boys.
Surveillance footage at Walmart in Cleveland shows Hightower taking the kids to buy beer and pizza before going to her home in Terlton, located in Pawnee County, an 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.
Hightower was beginning her fifth year at Prue Public Schools when the allegations surfaced. Her resignation was accepted by the district on Sept. 20, Superintendent of Prue Schools Tom Scully said.
In interviews, Hightower told deputies she also married a former student, but not until after he graduated.
She is currently out of jail on $50,000 bond.
If convicted, Hightower faces one to 15 years in the state penitentiary for second-degree rape and up to five years and/or up to a $5,000 fine for furnishing alcohol to a minor.