A Prue teacher has been charged in Pawnee County District Court after students told investigators she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.
Sources tell News On 6 that Katie Megan Hightower, 26, of Terlton, was arrested by Mannford police during a Wednesday morning traffic stop. She was transferred to the Pawnee County Jail. An arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday for charges of second-degree rape of a minor and furnishing an alcoholic beverage to minors, both felonies.
According to court documents, students at Prue High School 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.
Hightower rode the bus to and from the football scrimmage and sat next to the boy during the out-of-town trip, an affidavit states.
After returning, Hightower and three students went to Keystone Lake for about an hour, and the students said they overheard Hightower calling the boy "Babe" and then put her head in his lap.
According to the affidavit, the group accompanied the boy to his house so he could drop off his vehicle, but Hightower waited for the kids at a stop sign down the street "because [the boy's] mom and dad told [the boy] that he couldn't be around Hightower because he had been staying at her house."
Surveillance footage at Walmart in Cleveland shows Hightower taking the kids to buy beer and pizza before going to her home in Terlton, the affidavit says.
The students told deputies they all consumed beer at Hightower's house, but got bored after Hightower and the 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 she coached the students to lie about what happened that night, 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.
One of the student witnesses told deputies that in the past, Hightower showed a cell phone photo of her ex-husband's exposed genitals.
Hightower and the boy were both interviewed by investigators, but denied the other students' account of the night's events. Hightower also denied knowing the boy was at the lake or that she took the students to Walmart.
When deputies asked where she met her ex-husband, Hightower told authorities he was a Prue student and she married him after he graduated.
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.
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.