Bail increased for former middle school teacher accused of molestation

Friday, October 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A judge Thursday upped bail for a former middle school teacher facing several molestation charges.

Bail for Ronald Kinley Cunningham, 28, is now $140,000 after a $20,000 increase by Special District Judge Clifford Smith.

Cunningham was charged May 15 with 13 felony counts in connection with a 14-year-old female student, court records show.

The charges include two counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of oral sodomy, court records show. Cunningham also faces nine counts of lewd and indecent proposals against the girl and one count of possession of obscene material, according to records.

Cunningham's bail was revoked after he initially failed to appear for a Thursday morning preliminary hearing, but Cunningham surrendered to authorities and appeared before Smith that afternoon, Undersheriff Eddie Rice said.

Cunningham's preliminary hearing was rest for Nov. 2, officials said.

Cunningham posted bail and was released, authorities said.

If convicted of all counts, Cunningham faces a maximum prison sentence of 250 years, according to statutes.

The Preston school board accepted Cunningham's resignation the evening he was charged.

Authorities said the alleged crimes stemmed from communications between the teacher and pupil for more than a year and a half.