Skiatook Parents Say Charges Against Red Eagle are Necessary
Friday, August 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
Parents in Skiatook react to charges filed against a former coach. Harry Red Eagle Junior is accused of secretly videotaping girls in a school locker room. Thursday afternoon, Osage County prosecutors charged Red Eagle with six felony counts. They include two counts of lewd acts to a child under 16, one count of procurement of obscene material, and three counts of attempting to procure obscene material. The Skiatook school district is also set to begin an internal investigation into the videotaping. Parents say they hope the charges against Red Eagle Junior will stick.
More than sixty Skiatook residents have formed a parentsâ€™ coalition. The News on Six attended their first meeting Thursday night. They say their groupâ€™s goal is to move their schools forward. While they're looking to the future, many parents and residents still wanted to talk about the videotapes and Red Eagle Junior. He's been the talk of the town for more than two weeks after KOTV obtained, then gave police, videotapes that showed Red Eagle placing a camera in a girlsâ€™ locker room. Red Eagle, who resigned his position two weeks ago, was charged and booked. Currently, heâ€™s out of jail on bond.
Parents who have children in the Skiatook school system say they are glad legal action has been taken. "I think they are terrific,â€ said Richard Hunter, a Skiatook parent. â€œI'd do a jig if I could." Hunterâ€™s wife, Rebecca agrees with her husband. â€œI think the charges should stick,â€ she said. â€œI think he should serve his time.â€
While parents are being vocal about the charges, the attorneys handling the case remain silent. "The court on its own motion, has ordered that neither counsel, either defense counsel or prosecution, make any further comment concerning this case to the news media," explained Osage County District Attorney Larry Stuart. When approached by News on Six reporter Jenny McNeil, Red Eagle declined to comment as did his father, Harry Red Eagle Senior. Red Eagle Senior is the superintendent of Skiatook Public Schools.
Court records released Thursday reveal that Red Eagle Junior showed the videotapes of the girls to another Skiatook coach David Douthit. Douthit resigned his job last week. He told police he took the videotapes from Red Eagle Junior's home. Those videotapes were the same tapes that were given to KOTV and then to police.
Many people in Skiatook say they are glad the videotapes were brought to light. They want to make sure that an incident like this one doesn't happen again. "I think it's necessary,â€ said Lourie Hunter. â€œIt's a part of a situation that has to be resolved. The charges are good. I think it's time something happened to bring about the right thing to do and the only way to do that is to bring formal charges."