Former middle school teacher ordered to stand trial

Friday, November 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PRESTON, Okla. (AP) -- A former eighth-grade teacher accused of carrying on a 13-month sexual affair with one of his female students has been ordered to stand trial.

Ronald Kinley Cunningham, 27, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Okmulgee County District Court on Thursday. A court clerk said Cunningham's trial may be scheduled early next year.

Cunningham remains free on a $120,000 bond.

Cunningham will be tried on 13 counts, including one count each of oral sodomy and possession of obscene material, two counts of rape by instrumentation and nine counts of lewd and indecent proposals against a minor.

Cunningham is accused of having a relationship with a 14-year-old female student between April 1999 and May of this year.

He was arrested on May 5 and later resigned.

The girl's mother told investigators that the teacher corresponded with her daughter via e-mail and instant messages over the Internet, according to court affidavits. She said Cunningham also gave the girl letters while she was a student in his class.

Prosecutors said Cunningham asked the girl to have "sexual intercourse or sexual relations" with him on nine occasions. The teacher is also accused of procuring nude photographs of the student "for the purpose of sexual stimulation.